Most people understand that hearing aids can help them manage hearing loss by bringing better clarity and comprehension to their hearing. Still, many don’t understand how investing in hearing aids is truly an investment in their overall health. This has resulted in a significant gap between the number of people who could benefit from using hearing aids and the number of people who choose to use hearing aids.
Hearing loss can cause a big drop in your quality of life and health -that’s where treating hearing loss comes in. Treating hearing loss can make a big difference in your life – opening doors to friendships, experiences and opportunities you didn’t expect were possible. Treating hearing loss also supports your cognitive health which has big ramifications for your health as a whole.
Did you know that untreated hearing loss can put a dent in your professional life? For many people, hearing loss presents challenges at work, from keeping up with meetings and projects to connecting with coworkers. The challenges even extend into earning power.
In a study that compared income to degree of untreated hearing loss, those with untreated hearing issues earned notably less on average than their peers without hearing loss. The greater the degree of hearing loss, the wider the income gap became.
There’s no need to be discouraged however! Using hearing aids can help you recover some of that lost earning power by making it easier to keep up on the job. Better speech comprehension, better understanding, faster response and better job performance, all of which can contribute to better pay.
No doubt everyone’s social calendar has taken a bit of a hit over the past year, but many people don’t realize how much untreated hearing loss can constrict their social behavior. Hearing loss that is left without treatment makes it harder for us to engage and connect with our favorite social activities. It can be subtle, such as avoiding parties and restaurants because it is too difficult to enjoy conversation and company amidst noise. What starts as small decisions can develop into a larger pattern of social withdrawal.
Using hearing aids has the potential to make social spaces easier to navigate, alleviating anxiety and frustration. Hearing aids can help you reclaim social activities that became too daunting when hearing loss was a factor.
Quality of Life
It can be hard to pin down what “quality of life” means exactly, but on at least three large metrics, untreated hearing loss diminishes our experience of the world. Hearing loss is linked to significantly elevated risks for depression, anxiety and social isolation.
Depression suppresses our enthusiasm for life and can develop from the feeling alienated or misunderstood because of the communication challenges that untreated hearing loss brings. Anxiety is marked by elevated stress and tension – it can be brought on by trying to navigate unfamiliar situations and spaces while also dealing with hearing issues. Isolation indicates a lack of social contact and in many cases reduced mobility. Social withdrawal that is motivated by hearing loss can be exacerbated to a point of social isolation.
Using hearing aids can help manage hearing loss in a way that can lower your risk and improve your life. When hearing aids work to make it easier to hear your friends and loved ones, as well as cope with noisy and confusing settings it helps solve many of the issues that can contribute to a lowered quality of life.
Hearing loss isn’t good for our cognitive performance either. When we have to compensate for hearing loss, the brain works overtime to fill in the gaps, pulling focus away from other cognitive tasks. When the brain devotes most of its resources to hearing, even fundamental cognitive skills like balance can be compromised, resulting in more falling accidents.
Frighteningly, this persistent cognitive strain seems to be the essence of an increased risk of dementia for those with untreated hearing loss. There is good news however: hearing aids can help. Hearing aids make sound and speech more readily understandable, reducing the cognitive resources we need to hear. Hearing aids consistently improve cognitive performance when they are used regularly.
If you’ve experienced changes in your hearing, contact us today! We provide comprehensive hearing health services and we look forward to helping you hear at your best.