Consequences Of Untreated Hearing Loss In SeniorsJan 08, 2014
Older people who leave their hearing loss untreated can suffer major consequences both personally and socially. Learn how seniors with untreated hearing loss suffer needlessly in so many ways.
Hearing loss affects over 20 million people over the age of 45 in the United States, but the majority of those people still don’t use hearing aids. A study conducted by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) studied middle-aged and older Americans with both treated and untreated hearing loss, and the results were stunning.
No Hearing Aid Means More Depression, Less Social Activity
The survey of 2,300 Americans with hearing impairment over the age of 50 found conclusively that those people who didn’t wear hearing aids were more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and paranoia. They were also less likely to maintain active social lives when compared to those who wore hearing aids.
Untreated Hearing Loss Leads to Sadness and Insecurity
Seniors who didn’t wear hearing aids reported feeling sad more than those who did wear hearing aids. They said that they felt that people were more likely to get angry with them for no reason, and they suffered from much higher levels of insecurity and emotional turmoil.
Family Members Are Affected
This study was groundbreaking not just because of its size, but because it also surveyed family members of those suffering from hearing loss. It found that when seniors wore hearing aids, not only did they report improvements in all areas of their lives, but their families reported even greater levels of improvement in those areas.
Here are a few examples from the study:
With these kinds of responses, why don’t more older adults use hearing aids?
Sadly, most of them use denial or vanity as barriers to getting better hearing, better relationships and a happier life. They say they can get along without one, that their hearing “isn’t that bad”, or that they would feel old if they got hearing aids.
Family Can Help
This is where family and medical professionals can help. They should support their loved ones, and insist that they seek the right treatment for their hearing impairment. It can make all the difference in their quality of life.
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