Published on: August 11, 2015
by The Standard Daily:
A finding presented today at the annual conference of the American Psychological Association reveals that people hard of hearing with untreated hearing loss are prone to depression and dementia among other cognitive challenges.
Dr.David Myers, a psychology professor at Hope College, disclosed at the presentation that since hearing loss gets worse over time if left untreated, people hard of hearing could have better chances of being helped and integrating socially with others around them if they were introduced early in time to hearing aids and latest technology devices such as hearing loops among others.
“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,” said Dr. Myers said. “Anger, frustration, depression and anxiety are all common among people who find themselves hard of hearing.”
Dr. Myers revealed most people with hearing disabilities wait up to six years after noticing symptoms of hearing loss before seeking medical attention because they are largely not sure of the path to take nor how they will be perceived. Over 2,300 patients with hearing loss examined for the study indicated that nearly half of them suffer from depression and sadness most especially if they do not use wearing aids.
According to the hearing loss expert, people aged 20-69 are half as likely to obtain hearing aids than people who are over 70 years of age. But then, previous researches show that the longer older folks wait to acquire a hearing aid, the worse their hearing becomes and the more likelihood that they will sustain cognitive issues and dementia among others.
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.”
Myers said he is aware that people everywhere are trying to engage people with hearing difficulties and help out in any way, but that the use of hearing loop would help more if public health officials would adopt them.
Already in use in Britain and Scandinavia, a hearing loop transmits sound signals directly into an in-ear hearing aid or some cochlear implant already in the ear; and these hearing loop systems prove very effective in train stations, churches, and public places where every word spoken counts.
“Making public spaces directly hearing aid accessible is psychologically important for people with hearing loss,” Myers said.
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