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 specific cognitive concerns as you age. And scientists have found a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be overlooked and it will help if you don’t turn that hearing aid off.

People with untreated hearing loss are two times as likely to cope with depression. Compared 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 24% more likely to quit doing things they once loved and 39% more likely to feel as if people are mad at them for no reason.

Let’s explore this interesting study and an even sadder statistic you won’t want to hear but should know about. Don’t turn that hearing aid off!

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 widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. People would just go on with their lives trying to live safely, healthily, and happily. Apart from hearing impairment, it was believed that loss of hearing had no other adverse health effects.

Now we know better. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your overall health is explored in this study.

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

How the study was conducted

Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this study and surveyed more than 2000 people 50 and older. People with neglected hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. They asked clinically-relevant questions to determine the levels of:

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Isolation
  • Depression

More than 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. What they reported helped to give the participant’s statements validity. With this additional verification, this research becomes even more pertinent when we talk about the effects of hearing loss.

How health and quality of life are impacted by depression

According to the American Psychological Association, those suffering from depression are more likely to develop eating disorders that can lead to severe obesity or significant loss of weight. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and memory loss.

They have diminished reaction time, which can lead to severe injuries whilst cooking, cleaning, driving, and other activities. Healing is slower in individuals who suffer from depression and that can result in longer hospital stays.

Depression can increase the risk of falling in older adults.

Depression worsens as hearing loss progresses. The person usually becomes more and more secluded, lonely, and unable to care for themselves.

But there’s an even sadder statistic.

Hearing aid usage rates

Only around 25% of individuals who need hearing aids actually use them. That’s right. Many individuals have the means to protect themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.

Why do so many people neglect using a hearing aid?

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

A hearing aid upgrade would be advantageous for these individuals. Modern hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and let people sync with devices. This makes them feel less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart tech.

Price is also a problem for a smaller but substantial number of people. The link between neglected hearing loss and general health risks is now beginning to be recognized by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more budget friendly and accessible. 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 unaware of how hearing loss will affect 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.

What can be done to minimize hearing-associated depression symptoms?

Be proud to wear your hearing aid. Show people how much better you can feel when you can hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help get rid of the stigma.

Take some time to master the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to maximize your hearing experience in every setting. If you’re just turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most from 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 feel like you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to put it in a drawer.

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