Many adults experiencing hearing loss resist hearing aid technology for a number of reasons, often waiting up to six years to seek help for hearing difficulties.
But hearing problems that go untreated can lead to a number of mental health and cognitive functioning issues, as well as social isolation.
In a study of 2,304 people with hearing loss, participants who did not wear hearing aids were found to be 50% more likely to suffer from depression than those who did. Hearing aid users were also far more likely to participate in social activities.
Plenty of evidence, both anecdotal and academic, exists to support these findings, but formalised studies across large sample groups highlight more than ever the importance of seeking help for hearing loss and deafness.
David Myers, PhD, psychology professor at Hope College, Michigan, said: "Anger, frustration, depression and anxiety are all common among people who find themselves hard of hearing.
"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."