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Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012

Hearing Aids Improve Health and Wellbeing

Couple with hearing loss on bikes.

Rapid advancement in hearing aid technology means the old stereotypes of hearing aids have not caught up with the sleek new options now available. Not surprisingly, a majority of people still believe that hearing aids cannot be worn while exercising. When in fact, not only do most people with hearing loss wear hearing aids to exercise, but with todays advanced technologies it is now possible for swimmers to wear their hearing aids in the pool.

According to the Hearing is Living study, a global study conducted by Hear-the-World people who wear hearing aids are more active and social and happy than those who do not. 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.

Some of the statistics that emerged from the Hearing is Living study about physical fitness included the following:

  • 45% of hearing aid owners say that: “I am as physically fit as my friends and acquaintances.”
  • People with hearing aids are more likely to exercise than non-wearers.
  • 70% say wearing a hearing aid during a sporting activity isn't a problem.
  • 37% say wearing hearing aids has let them enjoy sports more.
  • 69% believe hearing aids have had a positive effect on their general health/
  • The Hearing is Living study surveyed more than 4,300 people in the United States and globally to examine the impact of hearing on a person's quality of life. The survey polled people with and without hearing aids, people related to someone with hearing loss, and people with no physical or social connections to hearing loss and found that the use of hearing aids to correct hearing loss was generally associated with improved self-esteem, health, well-being, and overall quality of life.

    One of the most important results to come out of this study was a renewed indication that treating hearing loss benefits a person's quality of life, including mood.

  • 72 percent of U.S. respondents agreed that their hearing aids were worth the investment.
  • The majority (83 percent) of hearing aid users in the U.S. agreed their quality of life improved with better hearing.
  • More than three-fourths of U.S. hearing aid respondents said their devices have a positive influence on their general mood.
  • Globally, respondents affected by moderate to severe untreated hearing loss reported feeling sad or depressed more frequently than hearing aid owners.
  • People without hearing aids were more likely to feel insecure and anxious.
  • It has long been known that untreated hearing loss can create a barrier between an individual and the outside world, including social and physical activities. As Dr. Dewane points out in her article, Hearing Loss in Older Adults — Its Effect on Mental Health, "A sense of belonging is important to mental health," and patients whose hearing loss is not treated tend to be bound by, "a psychological solitary confinement."

    The Hearing is Living study showed that a hearing aid can help dispel feelings of isolation and create stronger, healthier relationships.

  • Among the U.S.-based respondents with hearing aids, 68 percent said their personal relationships improved.
  • 44 percent of hearing aid users said their love life had changed for the better.
  • 71% said relationships with family members improved.
  • Sporting and outdoor activities improved with hearing aid use by 44.4 percent.
  • Over seventy percent said that going out to restaurants had been made better by use of a hearing aid.
  • The value in these kinds of studies is that individuals with untreated hearing loss can begin to recognize themselves within the survey and see among respondents who treated their hearing loss hope for a better, brighter future. Whether its mild, moderate, or severe untreated hearing loss has an impact on the mental, physical, and emotional life of an individual. And now, one more study proves it.

    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!

    ©2011. American Hearing Aid Associates 225 Wilmington - West Chester Pike, Suite 300 Chadds Ford, PA 19317888.575.2511
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