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

As we get older, we all recognize that hearing loss and specific mental health concerns can get worse in spite of a healthy, active lifestyle. And scientists have found a strong connection between the two that shouldn’t be dismissed and it will help if you don’t switch that hearing aid off.

Depression is twice as likely in individuals who have untreated hearing loss. In contrast to people who use a hearing aid, regular feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in those 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.

There’s an even more troubling statistic you should know about, though you won’t really like it. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!

Our ideas about hearing loss will be completely transformed by this study

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 just get by and go on to live the rest of their days healthily, safely, and happily. Hearing loss was not thought to have any health impact beyond the hearing impairment.

Now we know better. This study presents just one of the larger effects that hearing loss has on a person’s general health.

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

How was this study done?

Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) carried out this research and surveyed more than 2000 individuals 50 and older. 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:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Isolation

The study took a ground-breaking step by introducing more than 2000 family members of the study participants. They did this to help validate what the participants were self-reporting. With this additional verification, this research becomes even more pertinent when we discuss the effects of hearing loss.

How health and quality of life are impacted by depression

Eating disorders like acute obesity or significant weight loss are more likely in individuals who suffer from depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Memory loss and insomnia are also more prevalent in those with untreated hearing loss.

While driving, cooking, and other activities, their diminished reaction time can lead to severe injury. Healing is slower in individuals who suffer from depression and that can lead to longer hospital stays.

Depression can increase the risk of falling in older adults.

As the hearing loss progresses, so does the depression. The person usually becomes more and more isolated, lonely, and unable to care for themselves.

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

Hearing aid usage rates

Only about 25% of those who would benefit from hearing aids actually wear them. That’s right. For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its unwanted effects are totally unnecessary and preventable, yet they’re not taking steps to prevent it.

Why do so many people neglect using a hearing aid?

Many people who don’t wear a hearing aid actually do own one. They think it makes them look old so they just 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 discreet. This makes them seem more like an extension of your smart technology and less like a hearing aid.

A smaller but significant number of people say they can’t afford one. The connection between neglected hearing loss and overall health risks is now starting to be recognized by states and insurance companies. Hearing aids are, due to this, becoming more accessible and cost-effective. Additionally, individuals who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t realize how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They don’t understand how hearing loss impacts their overall life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in only a few years.

How can hearing related depression symptoms be decreased?

Have pride in wearing your hearing aid. Show people how much healthier you can feel when you can hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help erase the stigma.

Maximize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to master the advanced features. You’re not getting the most from your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Get a consultation with us so you can try out these upgraded hearing aids.

If you feel you’re not 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.
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