We know that past studies have associated hearing loss with depression and it’s no surprise why: When it’s difficult to hear, it’s difficult to communicate—which can lead to social isolation and eventually, depression. But what makes today’s fact stand out is that it highlights one of the first studies to directly link hearing aids with a reduced risk of depression.
How study linked hearing aids with lowered depression
Researchers from the University of Michigan examined insurance claims from nearly 115,000 adults aged 66 and older—all of whom had been diagnosed with hearing loss.
The goal was to uncover which people with hearing loss had been prescribed hearing aids and which had not, and then who of the group had later been diagnosed with depression (and/or dementia or a fall-related injury).
The results: People who obtained hearing aids within the three years after being diagnosed with hearing loss had decreased rates of depression (in addition to lower frequencies of dementia and falls) versus those who did not receive hearing aids.
Hearing aids can help keep you connected
Today’s fact reinforces the powerful difference hearing aids can make not only with your hearing, but also your well-being.
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), staying more connected to the world around us is key to reducing the impact of loneliness and isolation, both of which are risk factors for depression. And better hearing is integral to staying social because it makes communication easier and allows us to lead more active lives.
With the help of hearing aids, we can easily take part in the NIA’s top recommendations for staying connected and combatting social isolation (and ultimately, depression):
- Stay in touch with family, friends, and neighbors—in-person, online, or by phone.
- Join new or favorite activities to meet others with similar interests—and have fun.
- Exercise to lower stress, lift your mood, and energize. (Did you know hearing aids also help support balance and gait?)
- Volunteer to help others and feel 100 times better by doing it.
Hear well and be well—see a hearing care professional
As we age, it’s only natural we may discover a little more alone time on our hands. But, by getting our hearing tested and treating any hearing loss we may have, we can safeguard against loneliness, isolation, and in the end, depression—through better hearing. Reach out to a licensed hearing care professional today.
Don’t have one? No problem. Simply type your zip code in here to pull up a list of providers near you.