Untreated hearing loss and neglecting aid leads to depression and dementia, study says

One in every three American adults from 65 to 75 has hearing loss to some extent whereas individuals older than them frequency increases to one in every two people, according to Mayo Clinic.

New study says that hearing less or loss goes under-treated regardless of the evidence that says latest generation of hearing aids may assist in lessening depression and anxiety while its improving mental function.

David Myers, a psychology professor at Hope College in Michigan, stated that, “Anger, frustration, depression and anxiety are all common among people who find themselves hard of hearing. Getting people to use the latest in hearing aid technology can help them regain control of their life and achieve emotional stability and even better cognitive functioning.”

Scientists say that heredity and chronic exposure to loud music are the major factors that contribute to hearing loss and while people commonly are fearful of excessive earwax, it might contribute to their hearing loss and it usually does that temporarily.

A study in 2011 investigated the hearing loss and its relationship to dementia and found that the risk of all-cause dementia heightened with hearing loss severity as social isolation has already been associated with dementia and other cognitive disorders in the past.

Researchers wrote, “Whether hearing loss is a marker for early stage dementia or is actually a modifiable risk factor for dementia deserves further study.”

Previous research also indicated that people with hearing loss who didn’t use hearing aids had been 50% more likely to suffer from sadness and depression compared to the ones who did use them. It was found that hearing aid wearers were more like to participate in social activities and only 20% of the people who might benefit from the treatment actually seek help. People wait an average of 10 years following diagnosis before they start getting hearing aids.

Myers said that lack of awareness about what they are missing in also causing the delays. The newest generation hearing aids, some of which work with the smartphone and hearing loop technology could be of great assistance to the ones who wear hearing loss or become more social and involved.

Loop technology acts like Wi-Fi for hearing aids by transmitting sound signals directly into an aid (or cochlear implant), where it is received by a device called a telecoil. At present, the Hearing Loss Association of America is promoting the hearing loop system to the chambers of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Supreme Court.

“Many hard of hearing people battle silently with their invisible hearing difficulties, straining to stay connected to the world around them, reluctant to seek help,” said Myers.