Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Five Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss

Man and woman hug excited that treating hearing loss has improved their communication.

Even though the latest evidence shows that good hearing health is part of whole body and mind health, some people are still reluctant to treat their hearing loss. For some it's the stigma associated with hearing loss, for others the expense, but when it comes to the true stigma and cost of hearing loss, it turns out it's in NOT treating hearing.

Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss

A comparison of older adults with hearing loss who did not use hearing aids and those who did use hearing aids showed a marked difference in levels of happiness and general satisfaction with life. Those who did not use hearing aids were more likely to report sadness and depression, worry and anxiety, paranoia, less social activity, emotional turmoil and insecurity.

• Preserves Brain Functions—Hearing is an important part of how the brain functions. Exciting new studies indicate that hearing keeps the brain nimble by stimulating parts of the brain with sound. Not only have studies shown that the brain denied these signals are more like to demonstrate atrophy, but the reintroduction of sound, as Dr. Kevin Munro discovered in his research, reported on in the The Hearing Journal,"showed changes in the auditory brainstem response (ABR) in adult hearing aid users."

• Decreases Depression--The feeling of isolation that accompanies hearing loss is one of the top reasons that people who don't treat this condition begin to feel depressed. Other reasons include the shame of making mistakes in understanding or communicating. Often times people don't recognize that their symptoms of depression are due to hearing loss, so treatment is not sought.

• Increases Self-Esteem (contributing to an active and social lifestyle)-According to the Hearing is Living study people who wear hearing aids are more active and social than those who do not. The study showed the majority (83 percent) of hearing aid users in the U.S. agreed their quality of life improved with better hearing, but people without hearing aids were more likely to feel insecure and anxious. In part, that's because people with untreated hearing loss tend to withdraw from social situations and other interactions that increase happiness. When the ability to communicate is returned through hearing aids, many times a sense of hearing fitness and openness to the world is also returned.

• Increases Alertness and Focus--Did you know that many older people with hearing loss are mistakenly thought to have dementia or Alzheimer's. It's true. And many children with undiagnosed hearing loss are often thought to not be "paying attention" or told they may have a learning deficit or attention deficit. Using a hearing aid, along with an assistive listening device for in classroom use, helps children and adults focus on the world around them. As they "tune back in" they increase their alertness and awareness.

• Top Contributor to Overall Health as People Age--People who treat their hearing loss are shown to have less chance of developing dementia and Alzheimer's, less chance of unexpected falls, and have an overall better quality of life. Treating hearing loss is important not only for all the reasons above, but for the ones given in this Youtube video below.

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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