For people with hearing loss, the numbers show that not enough of us are wearing hearing aids. Of those aged 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, only one in three have ever used them. The number is even smaller for those who are younger – only a fifth of adults aged 20 to 69 whose condition requires hearing aids has ever used them.
There are several reasons why people might be reluctant to treat their hearing loss immediately. Some have misguided ideas about the way they look, and hearing loss still unfortunately carries with it an air of stigma, though that is changing. But by being aware of the benefits that hearing aids can provide, those who could benefit from them might be persuaded to finally take control of their hearing health.
A new and extensive scientific report has discovered a multitude of benefits to wearing hearing aids across many areas of life. The study was head-authored by Professor Emerita Bridget Shield who works at Brunel University in London.
How they make you happier
This research found that untreated hearing loss can make the sufferer become less socially engaged which put that person in danger of loneliness, social isolation and even depression.
This all changes with the use of hearing aids. They aren't as exhausted, sleep better, and enjoy improved family ties. By helping reduce the danger of social isolation, hearing aids help the wearer stay connected and stay happier as a result.
How they make you healthier
They are also more inclined than those with ordinary hearing to have other long-term diseases and there has also been a recent connection between hearing loss and dementia.
An explanation for this link might be found in the tendency of untreated hearing loss to discourage physical activity. Those who suffer from hearing loss may make a deliberate decision to refrain from physical activity as a consequence because they are worried about injury or their hearing loss being found out. They might refrain from playing their favorite sport because it depends on them being able to understand their teammates calls from across the field.
It’s not just a loss of physical activity though sports that might suffer, even gentle physical activity such as walking is discouraged. Untreated hearing loss reduces spatial awareness, making it appear more dangerous even to leave the house and walk around the neighbourhood or city streets. Hearing loss has been documented to increase the risk of falls and accidents when out, so it’s no surprise that hearing impaired people may feel more uneasy outside their home.
The combination of these two factors helps reduce overall physical activity of those with untreated hearing loss. But with hearing aids, they have the opportunity to improve their spatial awareness and confidence when playing sports, making it them more likely to be physically active.
How they make you wealthier
The study shows that on average, individuals with untreated hearing loss earn considerably less than individuals with regular hearing. People with untreated hearing loss are also more likely to be unemployed. Individuals suffering from hearing loss tend to retire earlier and the less competitive jobs also indicates that individuals with hearing loss have a lower average salary than those with ordinary hearing.
By treating hearing loss then, you could help insulate yourself from the higher rates of unemployment and a lower average income associated with untreated hearing loss.
Hearing aids are an investment. They are not always covered by insurance, though more and more offer a discount or plan. Most importantly, consider the long-term financial benefits of using hearing aids.
The treatment of your hearing loss in the long run is cheaper when compared with the long-term costs for both the individual and society of untreated hearing loss. As far as income, job, quality of life and decreased healthcare expenses are concerned, the original expenditure of hearing aids could be shrewdest investment you'll ever make.
Professor Shield agrees. In the conclusion to her paper, she notes that it is “important, for the sake of both the hearing-impaired individual, and society as a whole, that hearing loss is identified early, and appropriate treatment and support provided.”
Hart Hearing & Balance
Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of hearing aids? We have styles to fit every lifestyle and every budget. Call us today to schedule your hearing evaluation. You’ll be glad you did!