The most common type of hearing loss today is sensorineural hearing loss. This comes from damage to the inner ear structures that are tasked with receiving auditory information. The most widely used and effective treatment for this type of hearing loss is hearing aids.
But how much benefit do we really benefit from hearing aids? A lot, it seems. In a recent poll by WebMD, eight out of ten hearing aid users agreed that their quality of life improved as a direct result of getting their hearing treated with hearing aids. Let’s explore further how using hearing aids can benefit those with hearing loss in their lives.
Increased earning power
An estimated 60% of people in the US workforce are dealing with some degree of hearing loss. Improving hearing at work can help improve social relations with colleagues, make you better at working in a team and can lead to you being more effective at work. This seems to have an effect on your earning power as an employee. A recent study by the Better Hearing Institute found that households that contained a person in employment with untreated hearing loss stands to lose $12,000 annually in earnings. It therefore stands to reason that taking steps to treat the hearing loss will go some way to mitigating these negative economic effects.
Increased social confidence
Hearing aids help those with hearing loss to hear better in social situations, which increases their confidence and enables them to join in conversations again. The WebMD study mentioned previously found that three out of four respondents felt more confident in social situations because of their hearing aids.
This confidence extends to all of our interpersonal relationships, helping us feel less isolated from the conversations, anecdotes and banter in progress around us. Over the long term, this increased connectivity with friends, colleagues and other ‘weak ties’ helps us ward off depression and dementia in later life.
Increased communication with loved ones
Seven out of ten respondents from the WebMD study also found that hearing aids have improved the relationships with those closest to them. Based on what we have already learned about hearing aids and social confidence, its no surprise.
Communication remains the bedrock of a healthy relationship, whether it be with our partners or close family members. Many of these have long been frustrated by family members with hearing loss asking them repeat themselves. This starts off annoying, but can easily breed resentment and eventually conflict, especially if the person with hearing loss refuses to seek treatment or acknowledge their condition. With hearing treatment, lines of communication are cleared, which help those with hearing loss reconnect with loved ones on a level they haven’t been able to in a long time.
Increased physical safety
Don’t underestimate the importance of our ears in maintaining an awareness of the hazards around us. It’s only when we lose our hearing that we realise just how important in alerting us to changes in our environment. Whether it be fire alarms, signals at railroad crossings, car horns, or storm warnings, they are all sounds that are designed to warn us of potential danger. By treating hearing loss, we increase our ability to catch these sounds as we move throughout our day.
As we regain our hearing from treating hearing loss, that can also make us less susceptible to falls. A Johns Hopkins study from 2012 found that every 10 decibels of hearing loss increases our risk of falling by 1.4-fold. How can we explain this phenomenon? Our ears contain a system of fluids and tubes that control our balance and sense of gravity.
When we lose our hearing, we lose our sense of the immediate environment. This may make us more likely to lose our balance, and treating our hearing loss helps us to get it back.
It’s important to remember that hearing aids are not a silver bullet, but they can go a long way towards improving your hearing ability, which will help reduce the impact hearing loss has on your day-to-day life. At their very best, they help you forget that you have hearing loss, and that may be the biggest benefit of all.
Treating your hearing loss with hearing aids leads to a multitude of benefits. But hearing aids only help if you have some of your hearing left, so it’s best to get treated before your hearing gets any worse. The earlier you use them, the more you’ll get out of them. What are you waiting for? Our team are excited to help put you on the journey toward better hearing.