Gilberts Audiology & Hearing Aid Center - Oklahoma

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 recognized a strong connection 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 cope with depression. Close to 27% more people with neglected hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” compared to those who used a hearing aid.

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

Let’s explore this interesting study and an even more troubling statistic you won’t want to hear but should know about. Don’t turn that hearing aid off!

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

For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a “harmless” condition. 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. Beyond hearing impairment, it was thought that loss of hearing had no other adverse health effects.

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

As a society, we will need to rethink hearing loss based on this well-structured and significant study.

How the research was conducted

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

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Isolation
  • Depression

The study took a ground-breaking step by introducing over 2000 family members of the research participants. What they documented 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 suffering from depression are more likely to experience eating disorders that can result in acute obesity or significant weight loss. Memory loss and insomnia are also more common in those with untreated hearing loss.

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

The danger of falls for older people is also elevated when a person suffers from depression.

Depression progresses as hearing loss progresses. The individual 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

Around 75% of people who need hearing aids don’t wear them. Yup! For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its unwanted impacts are totally unnecessary and avoidable, yet they are not taking steps to prevent it.

Why do so many people neglect using a hearing aid?

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

These people would benefit from a hearing aid upgrade. Modern hearing aids work better, and they are also more discreet and let people sync with devices. This makes them feel more like an extension of your smart technology and less like a hearing aid.

A smaller but considerable number of individuals say hearing aids are too expensive. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the connection between untreated hearing loss and overall health. Hearing aids are, because of this, becoming more accessible and cost-effective. Additionally, individuals who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-untreated 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 4o percent in just a few years.

How can hearing related depression symptoms be minimized?

Wear your hearing aid with pride. 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 situation with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to learn the advanced features. You’re not getting the most from your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Get a consultation with us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.

Consult us right away about the most effective way to use your hearing aid, particularly if you recognize that you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to leave it at home.

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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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