When you start to suspect that hearing loss is creeping into your life, it can be tempting to avoid or deny that you are experiencing it at all. While this is natural, it is important to deal with your hearing loss as soon as possible. Numerous studies show that people who treat their hearing loss with hearing aids or other hearing solutions such as implants are happier, healthier and wealthier, with a better overall quality of life than people who do not treat their hearing loss.
Quality of Life
Hearing loss can have a profound impact on quality of life. The effects begin small and progress as hearing loss worsens. For most individuals, hearing loss happens gradually beginning with missing details in conversation and progressing to difficultly conversing in everyday conversations. The individual often has to ask others to repeat themselves, and this becomes frustrating for both parties.
Both people in a relationship, whether at work and at home, begin limiting the length and depth of conversations. As hearing loss progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to hear others in the presence of background noise. Social gatherings and even dinner at a restaurant become isolating activities because of the inability to understand what people are saying and individuals can’t contribute to the conversation.
Over time, these barriers to communication can lead to strained marriages, diminished or lost friendships and limited interactions with coworkers and supervisors. There are other effects, such as loss of enjoyment. Music, the chirping of birds, a loved one’s voice as all the sounds we used to love to hear become muted and diminished. Even a person with mild hearing loss has trouble hearing softer sounds, has difficulty differentiating between the softest sounds and the loudest sounds, and ultimately suffers from listening fatigue.
Hearing, Happiness, and Health
Many individuals with hearing loss experience social isolation, and depression. It might begin with avoiding large parties or gatherings and trickle down to canceling on smaller, intimate affairs. For those with hearing loss, large groups, noisy venues and dark environments can make it even more difficult to hear, engage in conversation and contribute to social situations. Hearing aids can make it easier for people with hearing loss to re-engage in social situations and refocus on building relationships.
Untreated hearing loss can affect an individual’s daily life and lead to depression, a serious mental health issue affecting 15 million American adults. Studies suggest that hearing loss may be a risk factor for dementia, a severe decline in memory or other thinking skills that interferes with a person’s ability to perform everyday functions. While researchers are still working to determine the exact link between hearing loss and dementia, the increased risk of social isolation, depression and brain overload are among the current theories.
Hearing Loss, Earnings and Employment
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, approximately 48 million Americans report some degree of hearing loss. Of them, 60 percent are either in the workplace or an educational setting.
Besides making communication a challenge, untreated hearing loss can actually cost those afflicted serious amounts of money. According to a study by the Better Hearing Institute, those with unaided hearing loss earned on average $20,000 less annually than those who wore hearing aids.
Hearing loss can mean a lower income and higher prevalence of unemployment in people who do not use hearing aids. Unemployment is not higher for people using hearing aids than among those with normal hearing. Hearing aid users’ income is also almost as high as among people without hearing loss. A recent study estimated that the loss of income for people with untreated hearing loss in the US is $176 billion. Hearing aids have been shown to mitigate the impact of income loss by 90%-100% for those with milder hearing losses and from 65%-77% for those with severe to moderate hearing loss.
Gulf Gate Hearing Aid Center
Treating hearing loss with hearing aids or other hearing solutions is ultimately cost-efficient. Compared to the costs of an untreated hearing loss. The investment in treatment is repaid several times, when it comes to earnings and employment (productivity), quality of life and reduced health care costs.
Contact us at Gulf Gate Hearing Aid Center to set up an appointment for a hearing test. We can help you find the best solution to your hearing loss and get you back on the road to a healthy, happy life.