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 specific cognitive challenges as you age. And scientists have found a strong connection 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 neglected hearing loss. Nearly 27% more people with neglected hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” in contrast to people who used a hearing aid.

They were also 24% more likely to quit doing things they used to love and 39% more likely to feel as if people are angry with 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. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!

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

Age-related hearing loss has been considered a harmless condition for centuries. It was believed that the other senses would merely compensate. People would just go on with their lives attempting to live safely, healthily, and happily. Beyond hearing impairment, it was thought that loss of hearing had no other adverse health effects.

Now we know better. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your overall health is explored in this study.

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

How was this study done?

Over 2000 individuals 50 or older were surveyed in this research carried out by committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). The participants included a mix of hearing aid users and those with neglected hearing loss. Clinically pertinent questions were asked to establish the levels of the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Isolation

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

How health and quality of life are impacted by depression

According to the American Psychological Association, those who struggle with depression are more likely to experience eating disorders that can cause severe obesity or significant weight loss. They are more likely to experience insomnia and loss of memory.

They have diminished reaction time, which can result in severe injuries whilst cooking, cleaning, driving, and other activities. Those with depression have even been found to heal less quickly, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.

The danger of falls for older people is also elevated when an individual suffers from depression.

As the hearing loss advances, so does the depression. The individual usually becomes more and more secluded, lonely, and unable to care for him or herself.

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

Usage rates of hearing aids

Around 75% of individuals who need hearing aids don’t use them. Yup! For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its adverse effects are totally 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 use it because it makes them “look old.” It makes them embarrassed.

These people would benefit from a hearing aid update. Contemporary hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and let people sync with devices. 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 yet significant number of individuals. The link between neglected hearing loss and general health hazards is now beginning to be recognized by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more affordable and accessible. Additionally, people who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t recognize how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They’re not aware of how hearing loss will impact their health and quality of life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 40% in just a few years.

What can you do to minimize hearing-related depression symptoms?

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

Take some time to learn the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to maximize your hearing experience in every setting. If you’re only turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most from your hearing aid. If you haven’t upgraded your hearing aid in a while, contact us for a demo.

If you feel like you aren’t getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to not use it, talk to us today about how to make use of your hearing aid more effectively.

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