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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 concerns as you grow older. 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.

Individuals with neglected hearing loss are twice as likely to suffer from depression. Nearly 27% more individuals with neglected hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” in contrast to those who used a hearing aid.

They were also 39% more likely to think those around them get irritated for “no reason” and 24% more likely to steer clear of social activities they once enjoyed.

There’s an even sadder statistic you should know about, though you won’t really like it. Keep that hearing aid turned on!

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

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

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

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

How the research was carried out

Dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this study and surveyed over 2000 people 50 and older. The participants included a combination of hearing aid users and those with untreated hearing loss. Clinically pertinent questions were asked to identify the levels of the following:

  • Paranoia
  • Isolation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

The study took a ground-breaking step by introducing over 2000 family members of the research participants. They did this to help validate what the participants were self-reporting. When we talk about hearing loss, this study, with the added verification, becomes even more relevant.

How depression affects health and quality of life

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

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

The risk of falls for older people is also elevated when an individual has depression.

Depression progresses as hearing loss progresses. The individual becomes less able to care for themselves as loneliness and isolation set in.

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

Hearing aid usage rates

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

Why do so many people avoid using a hearing aid?

When asked why they don’t use a hearing aid, many people say they do own one. They think it makes them look old so they simply neglect wearing it. It makes them embarrassed.

These individuals 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 feel less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart tech.

Price is also an issue for a smaller but significant number of individuals. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the connection between neglected hearing loss and general health. They are helping to make hearing aids more budget friendly and accessible. And unaddressed hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of people don’t take into consideration. They’re unaware of how hearing loss will impact their health and quality of life. Untreated 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 minimized?

Be proud to wear your hearing aid. Show people how much healthier you can feel when you’re able to hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help get rid of the stigma.

Take a little time to master the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to maximize your hearing experience in every situation. If you’re just turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most from your hearing aid. Get a consultation with us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.

Consult us as soon as possible about the most effective way to utilize your hearing aid, especially if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to put it in a drawer.

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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.