The Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss
2304 hearing impaired individuals and 2090 of their family members responded to a questionnaire with questions regarding quality of life. Approximately half of the hearing impaired individuals were hearing aid users. Hearing impairment was categorized by severity.
Summary of results:
- Hearing aid users were 1/3 less likely to experience sadness or depression for a period of two weeks or more in the past year.
- Nearly 1/3 of those with more severe losses that did not wear hearing aids reported prolonged depression periods compared to only 1/5 of those who wore hearing aids (a difference which remained intact when age and income were accounted for).
- Twice as many non-users of hearing aids with milder losses reported prolonged periods of worry and anxiety than hearing aid users.
- Hearing aid users with milder losses were 20% more likely to engage regularly in social activities than non-users and those hearing aid users with more severe losses were 24% more likely to engage in social activities than non-users.
- Nearly twice as many non-users of hearing aids with milder losses showed signs of paranoia than hearing aid users.
- More than half the hearing aid users and/or family members reported improvements in relationships at home and feelings about themselves and life overall with hearing aids, regardless of severity of loss.
- In 11 of 16 questions about lifestyle, more than 25% of all respondents indicated improvement due to hearing aid use (e.g. relationships, self-confidence, social life, sense of safety