Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and certain cognitive challenges as you get older. And a strong link between the two has been observed by scientists which should never be overlooked. So don’t turn off that hearing aid.
People with neglected hearing loss are two times as likely to deal with depression. In contrast to people who use a hearing aid, regular feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in people who have neglected hearing loss.
They were also 39% more likely to think the people around them get irritated for “no reason” and 24% more likely to avoid social activities they once loved.
There’s an even more troubling statistic you should know about, though you won’t like it very much. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!
This study turns our ideas about hearing loss upside down
Age-related hearing loss has been considered a harmless affliction for centuries. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. People would simply go on with their lives attempting to live safely, healthily, and happily. Hearing loss wasn’t thought to have any health affects besides the hearing impairment.
Now we know better. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your general health is explored in this study.
This significant and well-structured study forces us to reconsider hearing loss as a society.
How the research was carried out
Over 2000 individuals 50 or older were surveyed in this research conducted by committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). The participants included a mix of hearing aid users and those with neglected hearing loss. Clinically pertinent questions were asked to establish the levels of the following:
Over 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. What they documented helped to give the participant’s comments validity. With this added verification, this study becomes even more pertinent when we discuss the effects of hearing loss.
How health and quality of life are impacted by depression
According to the American Psychological Association, those who struggle with depression are more likely to experience eating disorders that can cause acute obesity or extreme weight loss. Memory loss and insomnia are also more predominant in those with neglected hearing loss.
They have decreased reaction time, which can lead to severe injuries when cooking, cleaning, driving, and other activities. Healing is slower in people who suffer from depression and that can lead to longer hospital stays.
Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.
As the hearing loss progresses, so does the depression. The person often becomes more and more secluded, lonely, and unable to care for him or herself.
Now, let’s look at a really sad statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
About 75% of individuals who need hearing aids don’t use them. Yup! Many individuals have the means to shield themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why so many choose not to wear a hearing aid
Many individuals who don’t wear a hearing aid actually do own one. They think it makes them look old so they just neglect wearing it. They’re embarrassed.
These individuals would benefit from a hearing aid upgrade. Contemporary hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them seem less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart tech.
A smaller but considerable number of people say they can’t afford one. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the connection between untreated hearing loss and total health. Hearing aids are, due to this, becoming more accessible and cost-effective. Additionally, people who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-untreated hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They’re not aware of how hearing loss will impact their health and quality of life. Neglected hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 40% in only a few years.
How can hearing related depression symptoms be reduced?
Have pride in wearing your hearing aid. Show people how much better you can feel when you’re able to hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help erase the stigma.
Take some time to master the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to optimize your hearing experience in every situation. If you’re just turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid. Get a consultation with us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.
Consult us as soon as possible about the most effective way to utilize your hearing aid, particularly if you recognize that you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to put it in a drawer.
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