Don’t Switch Off That Hearing Aid if You’re Looking for Happiness!

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

As we age, we all recognize that hearing loss and certain mental health concerns can progress 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 two times as likely to suffer from depression. In contrast to individuals who use a hearing aid, frequent feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in those who have untreated hearing loss.

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

Let’s explore this fascinating study and an even sadder statistic you won’t want to hear but should be aware of. Don’t turn that hearing aid off!

This study turns our thoughts about hearing loss on their heads

For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a “harmless” affliction. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. People would simply go on with their lives trying to live safely, healthily, and happily. Apart from hearing impairment, it was believed that loss of hearing had no other adverse health effects.

Of course we now know that’s not the situation. This study establishes just one of the larger 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 significant study.

How was this research done?

Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) carried out this study and surveyed more than 2000 people 50 and older. The participants included a combination of hearing aid wearers and those with untreated hearing loss. Clinically relevant questions were asked to determine the levels of the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Isolation
  • Depression

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. When we talk about hearing loss, this research, with the added verification, becomes even more pertinent.

How health and quality of life are affected by depression

According to the American Psychological Association, those suffering from depression are more likely to develop eating disorders that can cause severe obesity or significant loss of weight. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and memory loss.

They have reduced reaction time, which can result in significant injuries when 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 risk of falls for older people is also elevated when a person has depression.

As the hearing loss advances, so does the depression. The individual often becomes less capable of caring for themselves as loneliness and isolation set in.

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

Usage rates of hearing aids

Only around 25% of those who need hearing aids actually wear them. That’s right. For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its adverse effects are entirely unnecessary and preventable, yet they are not taking steps to stop it.

Why so many decide not to use a hearing aid

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

These individuals would benefit from a hearing aid upgrade. Contemporary hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them feel 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 people. The connection between disregarded hearing loss and general health risks is now beginning to be recognized by states and insurance companies. Hearing aids are, because of this, becoming more available and cost-effective. Additionally, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t realize how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them over time. They’re unaware of how hearing loss will impact their health and quality of life. Neglected hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in only a few years.

What can you do to lessen hearing-associated depression symptoms?

Wear your hearing aid proudly. Help fight the stigma people feel about wearing a hearing aid by showing them how much healthier you feel when you can hear.

Maximize your hearing in every situation with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to master the advanced features. If you’re only turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid. If you haven’t upgraded your hearing aid for a while, contact us for a demo.

If you feel like you’re not 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 effectively.


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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