Hearing loss is the third most common health condition in the U.S., after heart disease and arthritis, according to the American Academy of Audiology. The Hearing Health Foundation found that the number of Americans living with hearing loss exceeds those living with Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.
Yet, experts estimate that despite the pervasiveness of hearing loss, only 20 percent of those who need hearing aids have sought appropriate medical treatment. Researchers are discovering a significant connection between hearing loss and other health issues, such as cognition, dementia, depression, fall, hospitalization, mortality, and overall physical and mental health.
Why should we treat hearing loss as soon as we notice it? Treating hearing loss could improve our lives in many different ways. Let’s have a look at a few of these potential benefits.
Benefits for your social life
One of the most potent benefits of treating hearing loss is getting more comfortable with being socially involved.
Think back to the last time you were trying to chat at a loud party or restaurant. If you experience hearing loss, navigating through this is very challenging. It can be tricky to put together the pieces of a conversation in your head, and anxiety can come from responding to others when we do not understand fully what they are saying.
Proper hearing treatment helps reduce stress in these social settings. With the use of hearing aids, we can communicate more efficiently, which helps to rebuild relationships with our family members and loved ones that may have suffered with untreated hearing loss.
Improved emotional health
Treating hearing loss improves your emotional health dramatically. Untreated hearing loss affects your self-esteem and confidence as it contributes to social isolation, reduced relationships with loved ones, and, eventually, depression.
Using hearing aids regularly will help re-connects you to your peers, family, and broader society. By doing so, you can develop deeper relationships and foster more secure emotional ties, both of which are critical for maintaining good emotional well being.
A more rewarding career
Many people do not realize the critical connection between treating your hearing loss and increasing your earning power.
A study conducted by The Better Hearing Institute found that untreated hearing loss could cut annual earnings by $30,000. The study also found that the correction of hearing loss using hearing aids reduces the risk of loss of income by over 90 percent for people with moderate hearing loss, and by nearly 77 percent for those with severe hearing loss.
Hearing loss at work can have serious effects on you and those around you. This can influence how quickly or efficiently you perform your job duties, interact with co-workers or managers, and even result in early retirement if you suffer hearing loss while still in your working years. Treating hearing loss can help a person stay active and thriving in the workforce until they decide to leave of their own accord.
Improved balance and less risk of falling
In a study by Dr. Frank Lin of John Hopkins University and Dr. Luigi Ferrucci M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institute on Aging, it was found that those with a moderate hearing loss have a threefold risk of falling. The risk of falling increased by 1.4 percent for every 10 dB of hearing loss.
The researchers suggest that balance is very demanding in a cognitive sense, as is hearing. In other words, there is a reduced capacity to concentrate on balance and stability when the brain is forced to expend extra energy on deciphering speech and environmental sounds with untreated hearing loss.
Increased alertness regarding the sounds around you
Imagine stepping onto a busy street after emerging from around the corner of a building. This is not inherently dangerous, but serious situations may quickly occur if you cannot hear the sounds around you.
Sometimes there are more alarming noises like a smoke alarm going off, or a neighbor’s call for help. Hearing aids can save lives by making people in their houses, in their neighborhood, and in the cars more alert to these crucial sounds.
Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss
When you treat hearing loss, you will spend less energy on making sense of sounds around you. With the use of hearing aids, you will have increased access to speech sounds, which leads to a more enjoyable and fruitful interaction with those around you.
Are you ready to improve your hearing – and your overall health and well being? Contact us today at Mt. Hood Hearing for a comprehensive hearing assessment. It could be the most crucial step you take towards a better quality of life!