After using hearing aids for a while, many people wonder why they’ve held off taking action for so long. As it stands, only 20 percent of individuals who may benefit from hearing loss intervention seek treatment, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Shockingly, the general timeline between the first diagnosis of hearing loss and the first collection of hearing aids is, on average, about a decade. It’s human nature to ignore a problem and hope it goes away, but hearing loss will only worsen the longer you leave it. Sadly, too many people don’t seek help until they realize they can not communicate with the people they love.
Hearing technology has evolved
No longer are hearing aids the large, flesh-toned plastic hearing aids you remember your grandfather wearing. Indeed, they are sleeker and packed with more features than ever before.
Today’s hearing aids have internal processors that, employing technology similar to that used in mobile phones, can help distinguish conversation from background noise. This helps you understand others more easily in challenging environments, such as cafes, restaurants, and public events. They can even be combined with Bluetooth devices and used to make phone calls.
Hearing loss doesn’t just affect the ears. That’s why hearing treatment is tied to a whole host of benefits. Read on to find out how they can improve your life.
Improved quality of social interaction
Untreated hearing loss can render communication difficult, resulting in social isolation and withdrawal. In certain situations, rather than coping with the possible humiliation of mishearing something, people will stop being social altogether. Hearing aids help improve speech comprehension and therefore help you stay connected to the people you love, as well as the wider community.
Our self-esteem is tied to how confident we feel in social situations. Hearing aids adapt to the conditions in which you are in, allowing you to hear in all types of environments. In this way, hearing aids enhance your confidence, your sense of freedom and make it easier to join and sustain with people you haven’t met before.
Improved career prospects
A recent UK Eurotrak study indicates that hearing aid can positively affect your working environment: 87 percent of employed hearing aid owners indicated that their devices were useful for their jobs. Around 32-35 percent of those respondents also claimed that they were more likely to be promoted, do the work they love to do, and be paid a higher salary than those with untreated hearing loss.
Improved balance and reduced fall risk.
About 800,000 individuals over the age of 65 are treated as a result of falls per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and the average medical cost of a fall accident is more than $30,000. A broken hip or head trauma is the most common injury from falls. Sadly, individuals with hearing loss are at a higher risk of accidental falls than individuals with normal hearing.
Wearing hearing aids, however, has proved to help. People with hearing loss who used hearing aids performed better on balance tests than when they didn’t wear their hearing aids in a study conducted by the Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis. The study’s authors theorized that wearing hearing aids may improve your balance if you have hearing loss and reduce your risk of injury from a fall.
Arrested cognitive decline
Everyone experiences some mental decline as they age, but individuals with hearing loss are at higher risk than others. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have found that people with mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia, people with moderate hearing loss are three times more likely to develop dementia, and that people with severe hearing loss are five times more likely to develop dementia as they age.
The good news is that people who use hearing aids to tackle their hearing loss will almost entirely mitigate this risk. A 25-year study found that while people with hearing loss had a higher incidence of mental impairment, those who wear hearing aids showed no higher risk than people with normal hearing, according to research published in the Journal of American Geriatrics.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and do the right thing for your hearing health, come and talk to us! We provide comprehensive hearing tests and can help you choose the device which is right for your needs.