A happy male, wearing hearing aids, sitting with a female for coffee. Focus is on the hearing aid.

Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and certain cognitive challenges as you grow older. And scientists have found a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be dismissed and it will help if you don’t switch that hearing aid off.

People with neglected hearing loss are two times as likely to suffer from depression. Nearly 27% more people with untreated hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” compared to those who used a hearing aid.

They were also 39% more likely to feel that the people around them get irritated for “no reason” and 24% more likely to avoid social activities they once loved.

Let’s look at this interesting study and an even more troubling statistic you won’t want to hear but should know about. Keep that hearing aid turned on!

This study turns our ideas about hearing loss on their heads

Age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a harmless condition for centuries. It was believed that the other senses would merely compensate. The person would simply get by and go on to live the rest of their life healthily, safely, and happily. Hearing loss wasn’t thought to have any health affects besides the hearing impairment.

Of course we now know that’s not the situation. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your general health is explored in this study.

This substantial and well-structured study forces us to reconsider hearing loss as a society.

How the study was conducted

Over 2000 people 50 or older were surveyed in this research carried out by dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). Individuals with untreated hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. Clinically pertinent questions were asked to establish the levels of the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Isolation
  • Depression

More than 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. They did this to help corroborate what the participants were self-reporting. With this added verification, this research becomes even more relevant when we talk about the effects of hearing loss.

How depression affects health and quality of life

According to the American Psychological Association, those who struggle with depression are more likely to develop eating disorders that can result in severe obesity or extreme loss of weight. They are more likely to experience insomnia and loss of memory.

While cooking, driving, and other activities, their decreased reaction time can result in severe injury. Those with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.

The risk of falls for older people is also increased when a person has depression.

As the hearing loss advances, so does the depression. The person often becomes less capable of caring for themselves as loneliness and isolation set in.

Now, let’s look at a really sad statistic.

Usage rates of hearing aids

Only about 25% of individuals who need hearing aids actually use them. Yup! Many individuals have the means to shield themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason avoid taking the steps.

Why so many decide not to wear a hearing aid

When asked why they don’t use a hearing aid, many individuals say they do own one. They think it makes them look old so they just avoid using it. It makes them embarrassed.

These people would benefit from a hearing aid upgrade. Contemporary hearing aids work better, and they are also more discreet and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them feel less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart technology.

A smaller but considerable number of people say hearing aids are too expensive. The link between untreated hearing loss and total health risks is now starting to be recognized by states and insurance companies. Hearing aids are, because of this, becoming more accessible and affordable. In addition, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them over time. They’re unaware of how hearing loss will affect their health and quality of life. Untreated hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in just a few years.

How can hearing related depression symptoms be reduced?

Wear your hearing aid proudly. Help fight the stigma people feel about using a hearing aid by showing them how much healthier you feel when you can hear.

Optimize your hearing in every situation with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to learn the advanced features. If you’re only turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid. Consult us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.

Consult us right away about the most effective way to use your hearing aid, particularly if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to put it in a drawer.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.