If You want to Enjoy Your Life, Keep that Hearing Aid Turned on!

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

As we get older, we all know that hearing loss and particular mental health challenges can worsen despite a healthy, active lifestyle. And scientists have found a strong connection between the two that shouldn’t be overlooked 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 individuals with untreated hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” in contrast to those 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 like people are mad at them for no reason.

There’s an even more troubling statistic you should be aware of, though you won’t like it very much. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!

Our ideas about hearing loss will be totally changed by this study

Age-related hearing loss has been considered 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 was not thought to have any health impact beyond the hearing impairment.

Of course we now know that isn’t the situation. This study illustrates just one of the greater 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 was this research done?

Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) carried out this research and surveyed more than 2000 individuals 50 and older. People with neglected hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. They asked clinically-relevant questions to determine the levels of:

  • Isolation
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

The study took a ground-breaking step by including more than 2000 family members of the research participants. What they reported helped to give the participant’s comments validity. With this added verification, this study becomes even more relevant when we discuss 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 develop eating disorders that can cause severe obesity or extreme loss of weight. Memory loss and insomnia are also more common in those with untreated hearing loss.

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

Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.

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

But there’s an even sadder statistic.

Hearing aid usage rates

Only about 25% of individuals who would benefit from hearing aids actually use them. Yup! For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its unwanted impacts are completely unnecessary and avoidable, yet they’re not taking steps to prevent it.

Why do so many individuals neglect using a hearing aid?

Many individuals who don’t wear a hearing aid actually do own one. They simply don’t use it because it makes them “look old.” They’re embarrassed.

These individuals would benefit from a hearing aid upgrade. Today’s hearing aids can sync to your smart devices, work better, and are more subtle. This makes them seem less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart tech.

A smaller but considerable number of people say hearing aids are too expensive. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the connection between neglected hearing loss and overall 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 most people don’t take into account. They don’t understand how hearing loss impacts their overall life. Untreated hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 40% in only a few years.

How can hearing associated depression symptoms be reduced?

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 remove the stigma.

Take a little 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 out of your hearing aid. Get a consultation with us so you can try out these upgraded hearing aids.

If you feel like you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to leave it off, speak with 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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