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 particular mental health challenges can progress despite a healthy, active lifestyle. And scientists have discovered a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be ignored and it will help if you don’t turn that hearing aid off.

Depression is two times as likely in people who are dealing with untreated hearing loss. In contrast to individuals who use a hearing aid, frequent feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in people who have untreated hearing loss.

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

Let’s explore this fascinating study and an even more troubling statistic you won’t want to hear but should be aware of. Keep that hearing aid turned on!

This study turns our thoughts about hearing loss upside down

Age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a harmless condition for centuries. It was thought that the other senses would merely compensate. People would simply 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 negative health effects.

Of course we now know that’s not the situation. One of the impacts 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 important study.

How the research was carried out

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

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Isolation

The study took a ground-breaking step by including more than 2000 family members of the research participants. What they reported helped to give the participant’s comments validity. When we discuss hearing loss, this study, with the extra verification, becomes even more pertinent.

How depression impacts health and quality of life

Eating disorders such as severe obesity or significant weight loss are more likely in individuals who suffer from depression, according to the American Psychological Association. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and memory loss.

They have reduced reaction time, which can lead to significant injuries while cooking, driving, cleaning, and other activities. Those who suffer with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, leading to complications and lengthy hospital stays.

Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.

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

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

Usage rates of hearing aids

Only about 25% of those who need hearing aids actually use them. That’s right. For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its adverse effects are completely unnecessary and preventable, yet they are not taking measures to prevent it.

Why do so many individuals neglect using a hearing aid?

When asked why they don’t use a hearing aid, many people say they own one. They just won’t wear it because it makes them “look old.” It makes them embarrassed.

A hearing aid update would be worthwhile for these individuals. Today’s 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 technology.

A smaller but considerable number of people say hearing aids are too expensive. The link between neglected 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 budget friendly and obtainable. 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 don’t recognize how hearing loss effects their overall life. In only a few years, your total health cost can go up by as much as 40% because of unaddressed hearing loss.

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

Be proud to wear your hearing aid. Help combat the stigma people feel about using a hearing aid by showing them how much healthier you feel when you can hear.

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

If you feel like you aren’t getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to not use it, speak with us today about how to use 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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