Could Increasing Hearing Aid Use Reduce Depression And Dementia?
I came across an interesting article recently about hearing loss, in particular untreated hearing loss and it’s effects. I have spoken here before about hearing loss and links to depression and self isolation. More information has come to light about it through a new study. Hearing loss has a disruptive effect on daily life for the millions who experience it. However, according to a new study, many people are damaging their quality of life by not seeking treatment.live streaming film Circle 2015 online
50% More Likely To Have Depression
A new study conducted by the National Council on Aging has revealed the associated problems that come with not using a hearing aid. In a study of 2,304 people with hearing loss, researchers found those who did not use hearing aids were 50% more likely to have depression than those who did use the devices. This is a dramatic difference in a group of people. Hearing aid users were also more likely to take part in regular social activities. We have long known that un-treated hearing loss leads to self isolation. It is this isolation that leads to depression, humans are a social animal.
Increasing The Risk of Dementia
It is also thought that this social isolation among people with hearing loss could increase the risk of dementia, according to an earlier study published in the Archives of Neurology.. That study indicated hearing loss in itself could be a risk factor for developing dementia.
Battling Silently On
It appears that many hard-of-hearing people battle silently with their hearing difficulties. Instead of seeking help, the strain to stay connected to the world around them. It also appears that many are reluctant to seek help, resistant to getting treatment for the condition. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), around 15% of American adults – around 37.5 million people – report some trouble with their hearing. However, the NIDCD estimate that less than 1 in 3 adults aged 70 and over who would benefit from using a hearing aid, have ever used one. Only 16% of adults aged 20-69 who would benefit have tried using one.
Around 16% of adults aged 20-69 who would benefit from using a hearing aid have ever tried one.
The National Center for Health Statistics state that people wait for an average of 6 years from the first signs of hearing loss before receiving treatment for it. We believe that this lack of will to take action can be based on many things. Denial that a problem exists, vanity, or rather people’s sense of self and how having to wear hearing aids affects that. There also may be a lack of awareness of exactly how much their hearing is impaired, you don’t miss what you can’t hear.
Treatment Changes Lives
We do know that anger, frustration, depression and anxiety are all common among people who find themselves hard of hearing. getting treatment for underlying hearing loss will help them regain control of their life. The very thing that some are afraid of, hearing aids, will help them achieve emotional stability, keep their brain younger by encouraging better cognitive functioning and allow them to re-engage socially.
We need to change how people think about hearing loss, earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that around 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults face the risk of hearing loss due to exposure to unsafe levels of sounds. It is possible that we may have an unprecedented epidemic of hearing loss on our hands within ten years. If awareness is not raised and attitudes to hearing loss changed it could be a disaster. If you know someone who is suffering from hearing loss and battling silently on, try to convince them to explore treatment.