The Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
The World Health Organization estimates that 50 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. A study by Johns Hopkins determined that nearly 1 out of 5 people over the age of 12 have enough hearing loss to make communication more difficult for them. In our modern world, we undergo a constant barrage of noise, from traffic to airplanes to lawnmowers to personal listening devices. Understandably, hearing loss is on the rise.
Unfortunately, 1 in 7 people who could benefit from hearing aids is not currently fitted with them. On average, it takes a person 7 years from the time they realize they’re suffering from hearing loss to when they seek treatment for it. But these statistics don’t have to prevent you from getting ahead of the pack and making sure that you’re hearing as well as possible. Live your best life! Let’s think about some of the benefits of getting hearing aids now.
We know that hearing aids can drastically improve conversational abilities. If you’re currently in the workforce, there are revealing statistics about the advantages of treating hearing loss. The Better Hearing Institute reports that those who treat their hearing loss can earn $30,000 more annually than those who don’t. Those with mild hearing loss will mitigate the risk of decreased earnings by 90% with hearing aids, while those with moderate to severe hearing loss will do the same by 77%. If you’re currently working and wish to keep doing so to the best of your ability, you owe it to yourself to get your hearing tested and keep your hearing ability at optimal levels.
Decreased Risk of Cognitive Decline and Dementia
The University of Pennsylvania published a study indicating that untreated hearing loss allows the auditory centers of the brain to atrophy, making it more difficult over time to not only hear but to understand speech. The old axiom “use it or lose it” seems to apply here: the longer we go without being able to hear speech accurately, the more our brains adjust to stop interpreting it.
Several studies have also linked hearing loss to earlier onset of dementia and general cognitive decline, with greater risk noted for those who do not wear hearing aids. It’s likely that allowing the auditory centers of the brain to atrophy has implications for other areas of the brain, as well.
On the positive side, hearing aids drastically reduce the risk of atrophy in the brain’s auditory centers, as they improve hearing ability.
Mitigate the Effects of Tinnitus
Tinnitus is known by many Americans to be that annoying ringing in the ears. Many of us have experienced brief periods of ringing in the ears after exposure to loud sounds, but tinnitus is what it’s called when the ringing doesn’t go away after a few hours. Most tinnitus is accompanied by hearing loss. Modern hearing aids, with their ability to be fitted (programmed) to match a variety of individual needs, can reduce the stress caused by tinnitus.
Increased Life Satisfaction
About 91% of people who got hearing aids in the last year reported being pleased with the decision, and almost 90% would recommend hearing aids to someone else with hearing loss. This comes as no surprise.
Beyond simply increasing our ability to hear, hearing aids allow us to experience almost all the benefits of normal hearing, while avoiding the pitfalls of hearing loss. They improve our ability to relate to those around us, allowing us to maintain our relationships with partners and loved ones. They reduce the fatigue associated with straining to hear, allowing us to keep our energy up throughout the day at work or at play.
Experiencing the Rich World Around Us
One of the seldom-acknowledged benefits of hearing aids is the pure enjoyment of experiencing the wide range of sound in the environment around us. The sound of a bird singing, a babbling brook, or a child’s laugh brings a pleasure that can’t be quantified. With the use of hearing aids, those sounds can re-enter your personal life experience, making it rich, vivid, and full of joy. Although hearing aids do bring along those unpleasant sounds like traffic, machinery, and other harsh tones, isn’t it better to experience the world than to have a flat sonic palette?