Almost nobody in the world would turn down the opportunity to improve their quality of life significantly, but that’s what people might be doing if they don’t treat their hearing loss.
People who treat their hearing loss are happier, healthier and wealthier than people with hearing impairments who don’t use hearing aids.
This is the conclusion of a lengthy report titled “Hearing Loss – Numbers and Costs” by Professor Emerita Bridget Shield of the Brunel University in London, UK. Let’s have a look at the studies’ findings in three areas:
1. Improved Happiness
The study showed that over 80% of respondents have improved overall well being and quality of life, with less physical and mental exhaustion, adequate sleep, reduced depression and improved memory recall. The report also mentioned improved social connections. This is a critical factor in overall happiness.
Hearing loss can adversely affect your relationship with those you love the most. Your partner or spouse might find it frustrating to because they have to repeat themselves continually.
It may be that your friends are disappointed because you don’t call them as often. There’s a reason for why people with hearing loss are less likely to talk on the phone: hearing on the telephone is far harder than hearing in person, because you can not use body language to compensate for difficulties in understanding. These issues may eventually put a lot of stress on your social relationships. But though the increase ability to understand the speech of others, these issues could improve. That’s why hearing aids are so important.
Hearing aid wearers were also very satisfied with their hearing aids, in general.
The featured study showed that around 70% of users were happy with their hearing aids. This is part of a continued increased in satisfaction over the past 30 years, probably due to improvements in hearing aid technology.
2. Improved Health
Hearing loss leads to an increased likelihood of developing chronic diseases, according to the report. It also leads to a reduction in physical activity and a recent link to cognitive diseases such as dementia.
It’s not hard to see why hearing loss might lead to a reduction in physical activity. The ears are a main element in maintaining balance – they help individuals to keep it. So you’re in danger of falling if you do not hear well. Another recent study suggests that even a mild listening issue gives you three times the risk of falling. Since so much physical activity is related to balance, this can make people less willing to engage in sports and other activities, which leads to a reduction in cardiovascular abilities and strength. By improving hearing and subsequent balance, the use of hearing aids can improve the propensity to be physically active.
The dementia link has been supported by a slew of recent research on the subject. A recent study out of the United Kingdom found that hearing aid use slowed down the development of cognitive decline by as much as 75%. Although more research needs to be done on why there is this link, researchers suggest there are two reasons for why hearing loss might lead to cognitive decline.
One is the cognitive load concept: When people struggle to understand others in noisy environments, they divert the brains resources, which overloads the brain and reduces resources for other tasks like memory recall.
Another explanation is that hearing loss leads to fewer social interactions which increases the risk of social isolation, a key precondition for dementia. By improving the ability to hear, hearing aids improve the conditions for social interaction, reducing the risk of dementia in the long run.
3. Improved earning potential
The study also found that hearing impaired people are more likely to be in lower status occupations. This, coupled with the tendency of the hearing impaired to retire earlier, means that their overall average income is only 75% of those with normal hearing. Simply put, those with untreated hearing loss have a reduced earning potential.
Untreated hearing loss also leads to a higher rate of unemployment. “Around 64% of hearing impaired people of working age are in full or part time employment, compared with around 77% of the general population.” According to Professor Shields.
Why is this? Hearing loss impairs our capacity to comprehend speech, making communication challenging in the workplace. Furthermore, your brain’s cognitive stress may be damaging to other mechanisms that may interfere with your workplace productivity. This is why wearing hearing aids can actually improve job performance.
At Hearing Group, we offer a complete range of hearing aids for all budgets, lifestyles and hearing loss needs. Contact us for a consultation today if you’re looking to take the next step in your hearing health.