In a new study by AARP Services and United Health Care, findings indicate that Americans ages 65 years and older said that hearing impairment affects their quality of life physically and mentally more than high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, sciatica and cancer. The study was published in the journal Quality of Life Research.
“These findings indicate that hearing impairment can affect mental and physical quality of life to a greater extent than hypertension, osteoporosis or even stroke,” UnitedHealth Group EVP business initiatives and clinical affairs Richard Migliori said. “Given the significant burden hearing loss has on quality of life, we believe this study highlights an opportunity for physicians to develop treatment programs that enhance not only older adults’ hearing, but also their mental and emotional health.”
We have known for a long time that hearing loss affects mental and social well being. In 2007, a study released by the National Council on Aging found that untreated hearing loss was linked with depression, anxiety, social isolation, and paranoia. However, this new study shows that untreated hearing loss is more of a problem than previously thought.
The good news is that most hearing loss is treatable. While 10% of Americans experience hearing loss at a degree that should be treated, only 25% of those people seek treatment. With new research showing links between hearing loss and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia, hearing loss is not a health problem to be ignored! If you think that you may have a hearing loss, take our online quiz here or call 801-770-0801 to set up a free consultation with one of our audiologists.