Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
Hearing loss among older Americans is common, affecting one person in three aged 65 and older. Even when people begin to notice changes in their hearing skills, they wait an average of seven years before they decide to seek treatment. In this time, hearing loss can affect a person’s health and relationships significantly. Hearing loss is considered to be a hidden condition because its effects are not evident immediately.
When hearing loss is not dealt with as soon as possible, there are numerous negative consequences. However, if a hearing loss occurs, the identification and treatment of hearing loss with hearing aid bring numerous palpable benefits to a person’s life. Below are a few of the benefits of treating hearing loss.
Treating Hearing Loss Makes Us Happier
Studies have shown that people with chronic hearing loss experience higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. Untreated hearing loss leads to social isolation because communication problems force those with hearing loss to decline social invitations. Social isolation is a leading risk factor for dementia, particularly among older adults.
We all know that excellent communication, from our spouses and friends to our children, to our neighbors and beyond, is essential in our relationships. Treating hearing loss using hearing aids improves your ability to understand the sounds of speech in noisy places, making communication with your people more comfortable.
Treating Hearing Loss Makes Us Wealthier
An estimated 60% of those with hearing loss are still in work or education, but they may not be earning as much as they would like.
An analysis of earnings for people with hearing loss (both treated and untreated) in similar employment, marital status, age, gender, and lifestyles found that those with moderate to severe hearing loss who did not use hearing aids have $5,000 to $6,000 lower household incomes compared to those who use hearing aids.
Why is this so? Hearing aids facilitate communication – that means clarity in meetings and between colleagues. Hearing aids also improve your cognitive skills, meaning that you perform better at work with better memory and productivity.
Treating Hearing Loss Helps Our Balance
A study from the Washington University School of Medicine found that our hearing ability dramatically contributes to our ability to maintain our balance. The study consisted of 14 participants, all elderly with hearing loss. Tests were used to assess whether your hearing contributed to your sense of balance, and those who were tested did better when they were wearing hearing aids.
They were able to balance on a foam pad for 10 seconds longer with hearing aids. Although this seems like a small difference, many of these participants could not balance without hearing aids while standing for longer than 20 seconds.
The ability to stay balance also explains why those who wear hearing aids are less likely to suffer accidental falls as those with untreated hearing loss.
Treating Hearing Loss Helps Us Be Sharper
Over the past decade, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have published several studies that link non-treated hearing loss and dementia. Hearing loss affects the brain above all, as that is where all the sound processing occurs. With untreated hearing loss, some common effects include memory impairment, concentration difficulties, and the failure to perform short-term tasks.
In the longer term, your cognitive abilities could be affected more by untreated hearing loss. A study by Johns Hopkins suggests a more significant “cognitive load” on your brain from untreated hearing loss. The resources in your mind allocated to other functions are exhausted if you struggle to make sense of sound. Over time, this heavy cognitive load may increase your dementia risk.
However, treating hearing loss with the use of hearing devices gives your cognitive abilities considerable benefits. A study in Japan in 2011 showed that individuals who managed hearing loss with hearing aids performed at the same level as people with healthy hearing loss during cognitive tests.
If you are ready to experience the benefits of treating hearing loss, contact our team at Advanced Hearing Aid Associates today!