Though hearing loss is a common health condition, it can go unaddressed for quite some time. Impaired hearing often happens gradually, so subtly in fact that people may not notice the incremental changes to their hearing as it is happening. Additionally, accepting changes to your health can be difficult. While it can be challenging, it is incredibly important to address hearing health as soon as possible. Identifying and addressing hearing loss early can prevent it from becoming worse in addition to reducing your risk of other health issues. Also, treating your hearing can significantly improve the overall quality of your life!
Impact of Hearing Loss
A reduced ability to hear impacts many aspects of your life. Hearing is a major way we are able to absorb and process information, helping us make sense and meaning of our world. It is critical for effective communication which is the foundation for relationships, job performance, and social life. When this is impaired, the impact is significant and some of the key effects including the following:
- Strained Communication: people experiencing hearing loss can have difficulty hearing distinct words and sounds may be muffled. This can lead to missing small details in a conversation or having a hard time following the entire conversation. One may need others to speak loudly, slowly, or move to a quieter space to have a conversation. This can be a frustrating experience for both the person with hearing loss and the person(s) they are speaking with. People may limit the conversation by making it short and/or not of any depth.
- Social Withdrawal: people often overwork themselves to compensate for their hearing loss. They may try to read mouths to distinguish words, ask for information to be repeated, etc., creating unpleasant experiences that take awareness from the pleasure and fun that engaging with others should be. This can lead to avoiding conversations, social environments, and activities. Social withdrawal impacts your relationships and creates distance between yourself and sense of community and support.
- Declining Health: limiting social activity and isolating oneself can contribute to feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and depression. This impacts your mental, emotional, and physical well-being which shapes your daily life.
The experience of these symptoms can also impact income. Studies have shown that people with untreated hearing loss can contribute to reduced income. In order to prevent these symptoms from progressing and to improve your overall health, it is critical to address and treat hearing loss as soon as it is detected.
Benefits of Hearing Aids
The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. These small electronic devices have experienced incredible innovation over recent years. The wide-range of options that are now available can be customized to meet your specific hearing needs and lifestyle. There is significant research showing that using hearing aids improve health and happiness. In a 2019 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers found that hearing aids reduce the risk of several health issues. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that people who use hearing aids were 18% less likely to experience cognitive decline, depression, and accidental injuries. Hearing aids improve overall health by:
- Strengthening Communication: hearing aids are designed to absorb, amplify, and process sound which helps a person hear much better. Being able to navigate conversations without overworking yourself, asking others to make adjustments, and overthinking drastically improves the quality of these conversations. It allows you to be more present, participate more fully, and not miss out on what is being communicated.
- Supporting Social Engagement: the ability to navigate conversations with greater ease also means navigating social environments, gatherings, and activities more easily. This alleviates the stress and anxiety of communicating and allows you to spend quality time with others. This can repair relationships and encourage you to be more active.
Effective communication and being able to be more involved boosts confidence and general well-being. Additionally, treating hearing loss can contribute to increased earning potential by preventing unemployment and early retirement which is experienced disproportionately higher by people with hearing loss compared to those without hearing loss.
If you have experienced any changes to your hearing, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible! Contact us today.