Hearing loss is not rare, especially as you age. It is estimated that hearing loss affects 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 in the US alone. While it may be tempting to think of hearing loss as only an ear issue, this condition, if ignored, can affect so many aspects of your entire health. In the case of age related hearing loss, it can develop over time, so you don’t notice it until you struggle to hear with loved ones, even in quiet places.
Communication is a huge part of our happiness and success and if ignored the consequences can be irreversible. While hearing loss might seem like a serious investment it is definitely worth it! Below we explore just some of the benefits of treating hearing loss, as soon as possible.
When your hearing starts to fade, misunderstandings become commonplace. You may find yourself frustrated with the people closest to you due to constant misunderstandings. Disagreements about the volume of the TV or radio can cause unneeded tension. When you struggle to hear in your family and intimate settings your relationships become strained. Casual conversation that bonds us to one another occurs less and our mental health suffers. Treating your hearing loss creates can start to heal the rifts that may have occurred due to poor communication with hearing loss.
Improved mental health
Ignoring your hearing loss can lead to serious consequences for your mental health. When people struggle to succeed in social situations, they may choose to self-isolate rather than put themselves through the stress of failed social interactions. A study from the National Council on Aging published over 20 years ago continues to hold up. The study found that hearing aid users suffered less depression, anxiety and depression than those who chose not to treat their hearing loss.
Improved safety and sense of independence
When you use hearing aids you can increase your general safety and sense of independence. Out in the world being able to hear creates a sense of safety that is indispensable. With healthy hearing you can identify the direction and speed of sound. This protects you when walking in a park or on the street and makes it safer for everyone when driving a car. Wearing hearing aids makes it safer for you to go out on your own again. In fact, researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the National Institute of Aging discovered that hearing loss increases the risk of falls for older people, by 140 percent for every additional 10 decibels of hearing loss. Hearing aids enable you to be more aware of your environment no matter where you go, keeping you safer and healthier.
Increased earning power
When you ignore your hearing loss you have less advantages at work. People with untreated hearing loss tend to make less than their coworkers with healthy hearing. They are less often promoted and given raises as employers and co-workers will favor value clear communication in the workplace. When people treat their hearing loss with hearing aids their earnings can start to improve.
Improved cognitive health
When hearing declines it is often certain tones and sounds that go first. This causes your brain to strain when trying to hear. This causes exhaustion from social interactions that used to inspire you and give you energy. This phenomenon is often called “listener’s fatigue” and can put serious strain on your cognitive health. In fact several studies have explored the negative effects of cognitive strain on the brain. A 2013 study from Johns Hopkins’s Center for Aging and Health studied almost 2,000 participants and found clear connections between hearing loss and cognitive decline putting you at a serious risk for dementia.
The good news is that a study from the University of Manchester examined over 2000 people over 18 years and found that treating your hearing loss with hearing aids early, reduced the risk of dementia by up to 75%! The study stressed the importance of early treatment as they found that cognitive decline due to hearing loss could not be reversed.
Treat your hearing loss today
The longer you wait to treat your hearing loss, the worse the effects on your quality of life become. Don’t be afraid to take the leap and invest in your health and your future. Make an appointment for a hearing test today and get back to hearing your best.