If You Want to Enjoy 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 specific mental health challenges can worsen despite a healthy, active lifestyle. And scientists have recognized a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be ignored and it will help if you don’t switch that hearing aid off.

Depression is two times as likely in individuals who have neglected hearing loss. About 27% more individuals with untreated hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” in contrast to people who used a hearing aid.

They were also 39% more likely to feel that the people around them get upset for “no reason” and 24% more likely to avoid social experiences they once enjoyed.

Let’s look at this fascinating study and an even sadder 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 entirely transformed by this study

For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been considered a “harmless” affliction. It was thought that the other senses would merely compensate. The person would just get by and go on to live the rest of their life healthily, safely, 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. One of the effects hearing loss can have on your general health is investigated in this study.

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

How the study was conducted

Over 2000 people 50 or older were surveyed in this study conducted by committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). The participants included a combination of hearing aid users and those with untreated hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to ascertain the levels of:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Isolation

More than 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. They did this to help corroborate what the participants were reporting. With this added verification, this research becomes even more relevant when we discuss 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 result in severe obesity or significant loss of weight. Memory loss and insomnia are also more prevalent in those with untreated hearing loss.

While cooking, driving, and other activities, their decreased reaction time can result in severe injury. Those with depression have even been found to heal less quickly, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.

Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.

Depression progresses as hearing loss progresses. The person usually 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 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’re not taking measures to stop it.

Why do so many individuals neglect using a hearing aid?

When asked why they don’t wear a hearing aid, many individuals say they do 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. Contemporary hearing aids work better, and they are also more discreet and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them feel less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart tech.

Price is also an issue for a smaller but substantial number of people. The link between neglected hearing loss and general health risks is now starting to be acknowledged by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more budget friendly and accessible. In addition, people who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t recognize how much-untreated hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They don’t recognize how hearing loss impacts their overall life. In just a few years, your total health cost can increase by as much as 40% because of untreated hearing loss.

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

Be proud to wear your hearing aid. Help fight the stigma people feel about wearing a hearing aid by showing them how much healthier you feel when you can hear.

Optimize your hearing in every situation with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to master the advanced features. You’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Consult 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 successfully.


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.