Millions of people experience hearing loss, but sadly many cases of hearing loss are left untreated. Research discovered that among adults ages 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, only 30% have ever used them. The percent was even less amongst adults under 69, (only 16%).
Untreated hearing loss can lead to all sorts of health problems that affect quality of life, and lifespan. So how exactly does hearing better help you to live longer?
1. Less risk of depression
According to the NIH the prevalence of moderate to severe depression was higher among U.S. adults aged 18 or older with self-reported hearing impairment (11.4%) compared to those without hearing impairment (5.9%).
If you experience hearing loss it can be more challenging to communicate with others. Whether it’s at home or at work, struggling to communicate can lead to feelings of depression. People who use hearing aids can improve their ability to communicate, and reduce the risk of feeling depressed.
2. Support your balance
According to the CDC, about 36 million older adults fall each year, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. Additionally, nearly 3-million older adults are treated in emergency departments for a fall injury.
Our ability to balance relies on the canals inside our inner ear. It’s quite common for people with hearing loss to experience balance problems. With the help of a hearing aid, those with hearing loss can support their balance, and reduce the risk of having a fall. To learn more about the different types of hearing aid, contact your audiologist.
3. Reduce risk of dementia
Research shows that hearing loss is linked to dementia in epidemiological studies and may be responsible for a tenth of the 47 million cases worldwide. Wearing hearing aids can help to improve hearing function. Without the use of a hearing aid, individuals may experience cognitive decline, which has been associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Data gathered from research shows that dementia is a leading cause of death in America.
4. Prevent social isolation
Untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of social isolation. When people struggle to hear and communicate, they may avoid contact with others, and become isolated. Social isolation is associated with several health risks, including poor sleep, alcohol use, smoking, depression, and heart disease. Social connections are important to improve mental health and feel a part of society. Wearing hearing aids can help people to improve their communication, and feel less isolated.
Talk to your loved one about their experiences with hearing loss. Encourage them to seek treatment if they haven’t. An audiologist is an expert in hearing care and can help evaluate, diagnose and treat hearing loss.
The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. These devices can be private and discreet or larger and loaded with a multitude of features. Your audiologist will help you find the best devices for your needs based on your level of hearing loss, lifestyle and aesthetic preferences.
5. Emergency situations
Hearing aids can help people in an emergency situation. Whether it’s a smoke alarm or a siren sound, people need to be able to determine an emergency. With the use of hearing aids, those with hearing loss can hear the important sounds around them and respond accordingly.
There are also a few apps that can be useful in emergencies. One example is the Braci app, it’s a sound recognition tool that analyzes sounds and converts them into visual alerts. If the smoke alarm goes off, or the carbon monoxide detector, the app user’s phone will vibrate, and display a visual notification.
6. Improve the quality of life
With the support of a hearing aid, you can improve your quality of life, which boosts your mental health. Hearing better can improve your quality of life in many ways including:
- Makes everyday tasks easier, from watching TV to work projects and shopping.
- Improve relationships with enhanced communication and more confidence.
- Supports brain function and reduces cognitive decline.
- Hearing aid users can improve their independence, without having to rely on extra support.
- Boost self-esteem and reduce social anxiety.
Support with hearing health
If you or a loved one needs support with your hearing health, Nola Aronson’s Advanced Audiology can help. Audiologists can perform hearing tests, identify the type of hearing loss, and fit the correct hearing aid. There are several different types of hearing aids available, depending on the degree of hearing loss. For more information, contact Nola Aronson’s Advanced Audiology at (661) 250-6781!