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 challenges as you get older. And a strong connection between the two has been discovered by scientists which should never be overlooked. So keep that hearing aid turned on.

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

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

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

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

Of course we now know that’s not the situation. This study presents just one of the greater effects that hearing loss has on a person’s overall health.

This important and well-structured study forces us to rethink hearing loss as a society.

How was this research done?

Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this study and surveyed more than 2000 individuals 50 and older. The participants included a mix of hearing aid users and those with neglected hearing loss. Clinically relevant questions were asked to determine the levels of the following:

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • 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 research, with the extra verification, becomes even more relevant.

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 cause acute obesity or extreme weight loss. Memory loss and insomnia are also more predominant in those with untreated hearing loss.

While cooking, driving, and other activities, their diminished reaction time can lead to severe injury. Those who suffer with depression have even been found to heal less quickly, leading to complications and lengthy hospital stays.

The chance of falls for older people is also increased when an individual has depression.

As the hearing loss progresses, so does the depression. The individual often becomes less able to care for themselves as loneliness and solitude set in.

But there’s an even sadder statistic.

Usage rates of hearing aids

Around 75% of people who should use hearing aids don’t wear them. That’s right. For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its negative impacts are totally unnecessary and avoidable, yet they’re not taking steps to stop it.

Why do so many people neglect using a hearing aid?

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

These individuals would benefit from a hearing aid update. 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.

Price is also an issue for a smaller but substantial number of individuals. The connection between disregarded hearing loss and overall health hazards is now beginning 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’re unaware of how hearing loss will affect their health and quality of life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 40% in just a few years.

How can hearing associated depression symptoms be reduced?

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

Take a little time to master the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to optimize your hearing experience in every situation. If you’re just turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid. Consult 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 effectively.

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