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Hearing loss undertreated, despite evidence that hearing aids reduce depression, anxiety

Hearing loss is undertreated among adults, despite evidence that hearing aid technology can  reduce depression and anxiety and improve cognitive functioning, according to a presentation at  the American Psychological Association Annual Convention.   “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,” David Myers, PhD, of Hope  College in Holland, Michigan, said in a press release.    David Myers   A study from the National Council on Aging with a cohort of 2,304 individuals with hearing loss  found that participants who did not use hearing aids were 50% more likely to experience sadness  or depression than participants who did wear them.  Additionally, individuals who used hearing aids were significantly more likely to regularly  participate in social activities.  Another study, published in the Archives of Neurology, found that hearing loss may be a risk  factor for dementia. Years of sensory loss may increase susceptibility to dementia, according to  the study’s researchers.   Further, social isolation, which is common among individuals with hearing loss, is a known risk  factor for dementia and other cognitive disorders, Myers said.   According to the National Center for Health Statistics, individuals with hearing loss wait an  average of 6 years from the first symptoms of hearing loss before seeking treatment, and adults  aged 20 to 69 years who have hearing loss are 50% less likely to use hearing aids compared with  adults aged 70 years or older.  In addition to denial, vanity and less awareness of how much they are missing are reasons for  this delay, according to Myers, who has hearing loss.  “Anger, frustration, depression and anxiety are all common among people who find themselves  hard of hearing,” according to Myers. “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.”  Reference:  Myers D. A quiet world: the psychology of hearing and hearing loss. Presented at: American  Psychological Association Annual Convention; Aug. 6-11, 2015; Toronto.   

Do you know these five trending facts about today’s new hearing aids?

They can be invisible now. Many new hearing aids sit discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal, providing both natural sound quality and ease of use.   They automatically adjust to all kinds of soundscapes. Technological advances with directional microphones have made hearing aids more versatile than ever before in a broad range of sound…

Loud and Clear 

Hear that? It’s the sound of a technological revolution for the hearing impaired. Bluetooth® wireless technology turns hearing aids into headsets for phones, MP3 players and more. By Karen D. Schwartz There was a time, not too long ago, when hearing-impaired individuals who use hearing aids had to wait to reach a landline before they could make or…

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