Of the five senses, a person requires hearing the most to successfully interact with the world around them. When one is affected by hearing loss, it hinders more than just the ability to hear but also overall health, relationships and even safety. Approximately 48 million people in the United States suffer from hearing loss. Unfortunately, there is evidence that around 15 million people do not seek treatment.
Living with hearing loss can be a frustrating process with adverse effects can radiate to different areas of one’s life. Although it is an investment, hearing aids can reverse some of the social and safety repercussions from hearing loss as well as prevent some health complications. It’s more than just an instrument to help one hear but it is a tool for one to seize what life has to offer. We will explore some of the benefits for choosing to use hearing aids.
Although many believe that our ears hear, they are only the receptors of sound that is then interpreted by the brain. Hearing is, therefore, very important for the brain to stay healthy. When there is hearing loss, auditory signals are impeded and the brain is deprived of needed stimulation. Many believe that this lack of brain activity can contribute to the risk of dementia and cognitive decline.
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association stated that the mental and physical exhaustion from hindered communication with other people and the world around them could lead to a lowered self-esteem, anxiety, social isolation and depression. Therefore, the isolative effects of hearing loss can result in worsening mental health. Hearing aids helps the brain stay active as well as keep the user stay plugged-in socially thus preventing depression symptoms. By wearing a hearing aid, some of these conditions can be reversed or reduce the risk for worsened symptoms.
Misunderstandings and miscommunications often adversely affect relationships – whether at home, with friends, or at work. Having a hearing impairment can create a perfect storm of failed communication and arguments. One may feel that social gatherings are stressful and overwhelming when one can’t keep up with the conversations around them. Crowds and noise can make it difficult to hold a conversation for anyone. When there is hearing loss at play some may find these situations too difficult to distinguish what is being said. It can be embarrassing if one keeps asking the speaker to repeat him or herself or doesn’t know how to respond to a question because one couldn’t hear in the first place!
At work, not being able to clearly communicate with a boss and coworkers due to hearing loss can hurt one’s work performance and ultimately, earning power. Simple work requests and collaborations can be more difficult when one can’t hear, exchange or contribute to ideas no matter how hard working one is. This can result in one feeling very discouraged at work while one’s boss and coworkers may feel frustrated.
Finally, marriages and families may suffer if simple communication is difficult. Communication breakdown can result in arguments and many couples find that hearing loss negatively impacted their marriage. Our closes relationships with for couples and family members are built with communication as its cornerstone. By seeking treatment for hearing loss, relationships can be restored simply by hearing better.
Hearing is not only a tool for communication but is also how one navigates through the world around them. Hearing helps one fully enjoy a vacation at the beach listening to waves crashing on the shore or rain falling in the springtime. For music lovers, being able to fully take in a concert can be important. While these are sometimes mundane situations they make for a fuller experience.
Hearing also plays an important role as a natural safeguard. Someone may shout to get one’s attention. Sirens alert people of an emergency. When one can’t hear these warnings, there is an increased possibility of falling into dangerous situations.
By using hearing aids, one can enjoy the world around them from small details to warning signals. Thanks to today’s technology there are hearing aids with features customizable to your preferences and needs if you are an active runner, music lover or just want to hear what the world has to offer!
If you’ve experienced changes in your hearing, make an appointment to have a hearing test. A proper diagnosis from your audiologist can help assess hearing health and what to expect if something needs attention. Remember, early intervention and treatment can provide the most beneficial results allowing you to get more out of life.