The slow or sudden transformation that occurs with hearing loss—whether to an individual or to family or friends of someone with hearing loss, can take its toll on mood and vitality. Although there is an overwhelming amount of data showing that treating hearing loss is one of the most important things people can do to stay healthy as they age, there are three important reasons to treat hearing loss now.
Relationships— The expectation of unconditional acceptance in a relationship can actually cause stress between a couple faced with hearing loss. Though the partner of a hard of hearing person wishes to accept and support them, the continued stress of miscommunications can cause a rift to develop. People who treat their hearing loss regain the closeness that might have slipped away with loss of hearing. In addition, family members feel less pressure to relate what has been said, creating a more comfortable and less complicated atmosphere.
Better Quality of Life— Hearing loss creates barriers with the outside world and can cause people to withdraw from social situations. 83 percent of hearing aid users in the U.S. agreed their quality of life improved with better hearing. Research has shown that people who treat their hearing loss are more active and social than those who do not. Today’s modern hearing aids create solutions that allow people with hearing loss to feel free to socialize and enjoy activities they might have hesitated to try with hearing loss.
Physical Health—Hearing loss can help to support physical health in subtle but important ways. The brain through its central auditory system interprets and decodes the electrical signals sent from inner ears through the auditory nerves. This complex ability is one of the reasons hearing sound can keep your brain healthy. Not only has hearing loss been tied to an increase in the likelihood of Alzheimer’s and dementia, but it has also been tied to a higher risk of sudden falls. It is thought that cognitive overload--the exhaustion that comes with straining to pay attention over the hearing loss--may play a part in the increase in unexpected falls.
Despite research that shows the importance of hearing, many people downplay their hearing loss and push off seeking treatment, often using myths about hearing aids as an excuse. This mistake costs people in ways they don't expect--creating an isolation that leads to greater mental and physical health issues. Have your hearing checked regularly to keep up on good hearing health and take care of hearing loss issues as soon as they arrive.
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!