If You want to Appreciate Your Life, Keep that Hearing Aid Switched on!

A happy male, wearing hearing aids, sitting with a female for coffee. Focus is on the hearing aid.

As we age, we all know that hearing loss and certain mental health challenges can worsen despite a healthy, active lifestyle. And scientists have recognized 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 untreated hearing loss are twice as likely to cope with depression. Nearly 27% more people with untreated hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” in contrast to people who used a hearing aid.

They were also 39% more likely to think the people around them get annoyed 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 sadder statistic you won’t want to hear but should know about. Don’t turn that hearing aid off!

This study turns our ideas about hearing loss on their heads

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. Hearing loss was not thought to have any health affects beyond the hearing impairment.

Of course we now know that isn’t the situation. This study establishes just one of the greater effects that hearing loss has on a person’s general health.

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

How was this study done?

Over 2000 people 50 or older were surveyed in this research carried out by dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). Individuals with untreated hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. They asked clinically-relevant questions to determine the levels of:

  • Isolation
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Over 2000 family members of the participants were also included in this ground-breaking study. They did this to help validate what the participants were reporting. With this added verification, this research becomes even more relevant when we talk about the effects of hearing loss.

How health and quality of life are affected by depression

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

They have decreased reaction time, which can result in significant injuries while cooking, cleaning, driving, and other activities. 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 elevated when an individual suffers from depression.

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

But there’s an even sadder statistic.

Usage rates of hearing aids

Only about 25% of people who would benefit from hearing aids actually use them. That’s right. Many people have the means to protect themselves from depression by using 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 own one. They think it makes them look old so they simply avoid using 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 seem more like an extension of your smart technology and less like a hearing aid.

A smaller but considerable number of individuals say they can’t afford one. States and insurance companies are now recognizing the link between untreated hearing loss and general health. Hearing aids are, because of this, becoming more accessible and cost-effective. And untreated hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of people don’t take into account. They’re not aware 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 40% in only a few years.

What can be done to reduce hearing-associated depression symptoms?

Have pride in wearing your hearing aid. Show people how much better you can feel when you’re able to hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help get rid of the stigma.

Take some time to learn the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to optimize your hearing experience in every situation. You’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Consult us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.

Consult us right away about the most effective way to utilize 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.


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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