The Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is widespread, but statistics show that prompt hearing loss treatment is not. Most people wait seven years on average before they decide to seek help with their hearing. 

Untreated hearing loss can hurt many aspects of our lives, from maintaining relationships to enjoying everyday activities. This is one reason why it's so important to treat hearing loss as soon as it becomes noticeable.

And another reason why treating our hearing loss is a good thing? It brings with it a host of health and social benefits. Here are four of them.

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Stronger relationships

When we think back to the little moments that have had the most significant impact on our lives, they typically involve intimate communication. 

It is easy to avoid social situations with our families and friends with untreated hearing loss – because these experiences are becoming complex and frustrating. It's also often true that when we don't address our hearing loss, those we love most can feel like we don't care or are interested in what they say.

However, as we manage our hearing loss, all this starts changing. When we can participate actively in the interactions surrounding us, we are more likely to engage in them. A recent Harvard study that has been tracking hundreds of people for over 70 years has found that the consistency of a person's ties to family and friends and social interactions have been the most critical factor in living a happier and healthier life.

You will no longer miss those special moments with hearing aids, such as the whispered "I love you," whispered by your wife, or the sounds of laughter from your grandchildren as they play out in the yard. 

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Improved cognitive health

A growing body of research in the last decade has shown that dementia is closely associated with untreated hearing loss. 

One of the most well-known studies was published in 2011 by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The study showed that people with moderate hearing impairment were twice as likely to have experienced dementia as their peers without hearing loss. The risk grew significantly for people with significant hearing loss. This group was five times more likely to develop the disease. Such findings remained consistent even after other factors we accounted for, such as physical health, smoking habits, age, and socio-economic status.

Fortunately, hearing aids have been shown to delay cognitive loss dramatically in older adults. Perhaps better news, after only a few short months of use, hearing aids have been shown to slow cognitive decline.

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Improved safety and balance

Our ears keep us safe in various ways, from alerting us to noises from around the corner to let us know that the timer for the oven is beeping. Hearing aids have been shown to improve safety at home and outside by offering better spatial awareness.

The Washington University School of Medicine undertook a study that also found that our hearing capacity correlates significantly to our ability to retain our balance. This means those who wear hearing aids are less likely to experience falls and accidents. 

Retained earnings and employment prospects

Hearing loss may harm our careers in two ways:

Earning potential:

Hearing loss can substantially reduce an individual's earning power. According to a study by the Better Hearing Institute, individuals with hearing loss make an average of around 25 percent lower than their peers.

Employment potential:

People with hearing loss had twice as high an unemployment rate as those without hearing loss.

What explains these detrimental effects? People with hearing loss have difficulty identifying speech in specific environments. The inability to interact with colleagues gives rise to more significant stress and anxiety at work. It can also reduce concentration and thinking abilities because of the cognitive capacity that ambiguous sound signal processing can bring. That contributes to lower job efficiency.

Fortunately, studies have shown that people who use hearing aids to manage their hearing impairment can significantly reduce the adverse effects on earned income and work opportunities.

We hope we have convinced you of the many benefits of treating hearing loss. If you're looking to take charge of your hearing health, why not contact us today for a hearing test?

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