Posted on Monday, June 04, 2012

Hearing Better Tied to Higher Self-Esteem

High self-esteem helps this grandfather and his grandson enjoy playing football together.

A recent study supported by Phonak, a hearing aid manufacturer with over sixty years experience in listening acoustics, illustrates the connection between hearing health and good self-esteem. The "Hearing is Living" study was reported on by Hear-the-World global initiative started by Phonak to build awareness about hearing loss and the importance of good hearing 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 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, brain function, and self-esteem.

• 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.

Recent studies in the U.S. showed the connection between brain function and good hearing. The importance of good hearing for good mental health includes concentration, independence, and self-esteem.

• 69.3 percent reported improved mental fitness, evidenced by heightened receptiveness and improved concentration.
• 66.9 percent reported higher sense of independence
• 64.2 percent had higher Self-esteem

It has long been known that untreated hearing loss can create a barrier between an individual and the outside world, including members of their own family. 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, yet individuals who are hard of hearing don’t belong entirely in the hearing world or in the deaf culture. This often causes what Dr. Dewane calls, "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!

Hard copies of the "Hearing is Living" study are available free of charge via info@hear-the-world.com.

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