More than 30 percent of U.S. adults aged 65 or more have some sort of hearing loss. And the situation gets even worse for those aged 75 or older because about 50 percent reported hearing difficulties. A recent study suggests that seniors affected by hearing loss are more prone to depression and anxiety than those who do not have a similar problem.
Dr. David Myers of Hope College in Michigan and lead author of the study noted that hearing loss or less is associated with a high risk of depression, frustration and anxiety. So, hearing aids can not only help people regain a vital sense but they can also help them regain control over their life and become again emotionally stable, the research team said.
Usually, people lose their hearing in late years because of hereditary factors or prolonged exposure to loud noises. A popular belief is that too much wax may also contribute to the issue, but that’s just a myth. Earwax can only reduce hearing temporarily, and there are many solutions to it on the market.
Hearing loss however was proven to cause some cognitive issues several years ago. For instance, a 2011 research showed that the risk of dementia was as high as the severity of the hearing loss was. Other studies had shown that isolated people have a higher risk of dementia. So, hearing loss which often results in isolation may indeed lead to cognitive decline.
Scientists acknowledged that they didn’t find a cause-and-effect relationship between dementia and hearing problems. Those problems may be either a cause or a “modifiable risk factor,” so more research needs to be done.
Researchers stated that past studies had found a link between hearing aid use and lower risk of depression or anxiety. Patients who used them were less likely by 50 percent to be affected by those conditions than patients who ignored them.
And convincing people wearing hearing aids is a daunting task. Adults aged 20 to 69 are less likely to wear them by up to 50 percent. That’s because only 20 percent of patients diagnosed with hearing loss actually use a hearing aid. Plus, it takes a decade on average since the diagnosis for the patient to start using the aids.
Dr, Mayer believes that that may be linked to vanity but also ignorance. The elderly usually avoid hearing aids because they fear they may look too ancient in a society obsessed with eternal beauty. But that may soon change with a little help from cochlear implant technologies.
Image Source: Expert Beacon
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