Our Generation Doesn’t Shy Away From Challenges!
As we discussed previously, long term untreated hearing loss can have profound physical, mental, and emotional effects for seniors. But there is substantial evidence that taking steps to improve our hearing will go a long way to ensuring our physical and mental well-being as we age. We are living longer, healthier and more actively than our parents generation. We take care of ourselves, and we refuse to sit on the sidelines of life. Since we are living longer, we certainly want to age well, and our generation (the Baby Boomers) tends to “take the Bull by the horn.” But it’s important to understand that we don’t treat hearing loss just to hear with more clarity. We treat hearing loss to improve our quality of life, and the longevity of that quality! Addressing and treating hearing loss can be a long, sometimes challenging process, but most of us are up to the challenge. There are many benefits to treating our hearing loss. Here are just a few:
Higher Earning Power. When you increase your abilities to recognize and appropriately respond to speech, particularly in the workplace, you increase your earning power. In other words, the better you are able to hear at work, the more valuable you become. Research by the Better Hearing Institute found that untreated hearing loss can reduce annual earnings by as much as $30,000. The study also found that correcting hearing loss with hearing aids reduces the risk of lost earnings by more than “90 percent for people with mild hearing loss, and nearly 77 percent for those with moderate-to-severe hearing loss.” That is a powerful incentive for treating hearing loss.
Slower cognitive decline.
Several recent studies have linked untreated hearing loss to an increased risk of developing dementia and accelerated cognitive decline. The decline appears greatest for those who do not wear hearing aids to correct hearing loss. A study from the University of Pennsylvania found that reduced hearing loss can actually accelerate atrophy in the auditory areas of the brain, causing a positive feedback of cascading negative effects, making speech understanding more difficult. The good news is that researchers have found that wearing hearing aids helps to decrease atrophy while increasing hearing ability. The exciting new research further supports that treating hearing loss with hearing aids appears to slow the decline of thinking and memory retention associated with hearing loss. For example, an observational study by the University of Bordeaux recently found that wearing hearing aids reduces the risk of accelerated cognitive decline. If you don’t want to improve your hearing ability for money, how about doing it for your mind and memory?
Reduce Tinnitus Symptoms.
More than 50 million people in America experience tinnitus, a high pitched ringing or clicking noise with no external sound source. And 90 percent of those who experience tinnitus also experience hearing loss. An increasing number of studies show that wearing wearing correctly-fit (programmed) hearing aids to treat hearing loss also alleviates the symptoms of Tinnitus. With advances in hearing aid technology, an increasing number of hearing aid manufacturers are now producing hearing aids specifically designed to alleviate tinnitus, so wearing hearing aids to correct hearing loss has an additional benefit to reduce the stress associated with tinnitus.
People Are Satisfied With Their Hearing Aid Performance.
According to a study by the Better Hearing Institute, more than 9 in ten people who purchased hearing aids during a one year period were satisfied with their purchase. And nearly 9 in 10 people who currently wear hearing aids would recommend hearing aids to a friend with hearing loss.
Improved Personal Safety.
You improve your safety when you treat your hearing loss. Don’t be at greater risk of falling, which can lead to costly medical bills—let alone physical discomfort. The better you hear, the more attuned you are to your surroundings. Even mild hearing loss can impact your ability to hear sonic cues such as alarms in the world around you. To dedicate your time to healthy hearing is also a dedication to your bodily safety.
Emotional Well-Being .
The emotional benefits of treating your hearing loss are immense. Any type of hearing loss can make you feel disconnected from your own sense of self and impacts how you think and feel about yourself. As treating hearing loss can improve your sense of well-being, it of course enhances your abilities and desires to connect with friends and loved ones. If you treat your hearing loss, you improve your abilities to hear them, of course, but also to feel emotionally connected and supported. The Better Hearing Institute recently found that people who wear hearing aids to correct a hearing loss enjoy a better quality of life than those who let their hearing loss go untreated.