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 develop hearing loss and certain cognitive challenges as you grow older. And scientists have discovered a strong connection between the two that shouldn’t be overlooked and it will help if you don’t switch that hearing aid off.

Individuals with neglected hearing loss are twice as likely to deal with depression. About 27% more individuals with neglected hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” compared to people who used a hearing aid.

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.

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

Our beliefs about hearing loss will be totally changed by this study

For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been considered a “harmless” condition. 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. Hearing loss wasn’t believed to have any health affects besides the hearing impairment.

Of course we now know that’s not the case. 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 reconsider hearing loss as a society.

How the research was conducted

Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) carried out this research and surveyed over 2000 individuals 50 and older. People with neglected hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. Clinically pertinent questions were asked to determine the levels of the following:

  • Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Depression

Over 2000 family members of the participants were also included in this ground-breaking study. What they reported helped to give the participant’s statements validity. When we discuss hearing loss, this research, with the added verification, becomes even more pertinent.

How health and quality of life are affected by depression

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

While driving, cooking, 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, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.

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

Depression progresses 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

About 75% of people who should use hearing aids don’t use them. Yup! Many individuals have the ability to shield themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.

Why do so many individuals neglect using a hearing aid?

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

A hearing aid update would be worthwhile for these people. 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 people say hearing aids are too expensive. States and insurance companies are now recognizing the connection between untreated hearing loss and general health. Hearing aids are, due to this, becoming more available and affordable. And unaddressed hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of people don’t take into account. They don’t understand how hearing loss impacts their overall life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in only a few years.

How can hearing associated depression symptoms be decreased?

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

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

If you feel you aren’t getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to leave it off, talk to 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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