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

As we age, we all know that hearing loss and particular mental health challenges can progress despite a healthy, active lifestyle. And a strong link between the two has been recognized by scientists which should never be dismissed. So keep that hearing aid turned on.

People with untreated hearing loss are two times as likely to cope with depression. About 27% more people with neglected hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” in contrast to those who used a hearing aid.

They were also 24% more likely to quit doing things they used to love and 39% more likely to feel as if people are mad at them for no reason.

There’s an even sadder statistic you should be aware of, though you won’t like it very much. Keep that hearing aid turned on!

This study turns our ideas about hearing loss on their heads

Age-related hearing loss has been considered a harmless condition for centuries. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. The person would just get by and go on to live the rest of their days healthily, safely, and happily. Hearing loss wasn’t thought to have any health impact beyond the hearing impairment.

Of course we now know that’s not the case. One of the effects hearing loss can have on your overall health is investigated in this study.

As a society, we will need to reconsider hearing loss based on this well-structured and significant study.

How was this study done?

Over 2000 individuals 50 or older were surveyed in this research conducted by dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). The participants included a combination of hearing aid wearers and those with untreated hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to determine the levels of:

  • Isolation
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety

Over 2000 family members of the participants were also included in this ground-breaking study. What they documented helped to give the participant’s statements validity. With this added verification, this research becomes even more relevant when we talk about the effects of hearing loss.

How depression impacts health and quality of life

Eating disorders like severe obesity or significant weight loss are more likely in people who cope with depression, according to the American Psychological Association. They are more likely to experience insomnia and loss of memory.

They have diminished reaction time, which can result in severe injuries while cooking, driving, cleaning, and other activities. Those with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, leading to complications and lengthy hospital stays.

The chance of falls for older people is also elevated when a person has depression.

Depression worsens as hearing loss advances. The individual often becomes more and more isolated, lonely, and unable to care for him or herself.

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

Hearing aid usage rates

Around 75% of people who need hearing aids don’t wear them. Yup! Many individuals have the means to protect 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 people say they own one. They think it makes them look old so they simply avoid wearing it. They’re embarrassed.

These people would benefit from a hearing aid upgrade. Present day hearing aids can sync to your smart devices, work better, and are more subtle. This makes them seem less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart tech.

A smaller but considerable number of individuals say hearing aids are too expensive. The connection between untreated hearing loss and overall health risks is now beginning to be recognized by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more affordable and accessible. In addition, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-neglected 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 total healthcare costs by as much as 40% in just a few years.

How can hearing related depression symptoms be decreased?

Wear your hearing aid with pride. Help fight the stigma people feel about wearing a hearing aid by showing them how much better you feel when you can hear.

Maximize your hearing in every situation with your modern hearing aid by taking a little time to learn the advanced features. If you’re just turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid. If you haven’t upgraded your hearing aid in a while, contact us for a demo.

If you feel you aren’t getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to leave it off, speak with us today about how to make use of your hearing aid more successfully.

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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.