Discussing the benefits of treating hearing loss is one of our favorite topics, because there are just simply so many wonderful perks! Untreated hearing loss has the potential to cause negative effects in multiple areas of our lives such as our personal safety, work productivity and earning potential, emotional health, cognitive thinking skills and our relationships with friends any family. Therefore, treating hearing loss can drastically improve our lives in these areas, as well as improve a person’s overall quality of life. Your hearing loss affects more than just your ears; so treating it will improve more than just your hearing!
The Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss: Your Relationships
There have been many internationally recognized studies that draw a parallel between treating hearing loss with hearing aids and an improvement in relationships – especially in romantic relationships. In fact, in 2006 the Hear-It Foundation reviewed hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies from the US, Australia and Europe to find that throughout the studies the common theme remained that treating hearing loss had the most profound improvement in users’ social lives and relationships – on top of all other benefits (https://www.hear-it.org/hearing-aids-improve-quality-of-life). It’s not difficult to imagine why hearing aids bring more satisfaction to our relationships. With untreated hearing loss, we often lose those little intimate moments like an “I love you” whispered during the ballet or a word of encouragement in a busy moment – and these little moments have big impacts in our life.
The Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss: Your Cognition
Recently, there has been a growing body of scientific research that connects untreated hearing loss with an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia. In 2011, a study out of John Hopkins University found that those with severe hearing loss were up to five times more likely to have developed dementia over a period of time than their peers without hearing loss. A 2013 follow-up study reported similar results. It was found that people with untreated hearing loss also lost their cognitive abilities at a quicker rate, about 30-40% faster than their peers without hearing loss (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3869227/). When hearing aids are used, however, this rate of cognitive decline has been shown to slow down. The reason for this may be because the brain no longer needs to extend so much energy and resources to listening, and can instead use this energy for tasks such as memory and problem solving.
The Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss: Your Happiness
On top of better relationships and cognitive abilities, hearing aids have also been found to help people live happier lives, and reduce the risk of depression, anxiety and social isolation. A recently published study outlined that older adults with untreated hearing loss were about 57% more likely to have deep periods of depression than their peers without hearing loss (http://www.betterhearing.org/news/let-better-hearing-boost-your-happiness-and-wellbeing). Research was recently published in the Journal of American Geriatric Society that followed over a thousand participants and discovered that hearing aids significantly reduced a participant’s risk for major depressive disorder as well as any other depressive trait. The study found using hearing aids for only three short months was enough time for most participants to notice a decrease in depressive symptoms and an increase in overall happiness. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3773611/).
The Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss: Your Job
Untreated hearing loss has been found to have a hugely negative impact on earning potential. In fact, research by the Better Hearing Institute has estimated that it can reduce annual salary by about $30,000. With the use of hearing aids, however, this reduced salary is virtually eliminated. For those with mild hearing loss, hearing aids reduced the risk of decreased earnings by 90%, and the risk was reduced by nearly 77% for those with more severe hearing loss who used hearing aids (https://www.starkey.com/blog/2018/01/5-benefits-of-hearing-aids). It has also been noted that those who choose to wear hearing aids at work are seen as more cognitively competent and are more respected by colleagues than those who do not treat their hearing loss.
How Active Hearing and Audiology Can Help
Of course we care about your hearing health, but we also care deeply about your happiness, relationships and quality of life. If you are curious about your hearing health or how treating hearing loss may benefit you in other areas of your life, reach out to our friendly team today. We look forward to the opportunity to speak with you and schedule your comprehensive hearing exam.