Hearing aids are a miracle of modern technology. If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, hearing aids can allow you to hear the sounds you’ve been missing out on for so long – even the soft and environmental noises you had almost forgotten about. And more so, it turns out that wearing hearing aids can help you live a happier and longer life. Here’s how!
Hearing aids are part of the rehabilitation program to provide relief for your hearing difficulties, they do not restore your hearing or give you “super” hearing. There are many reasons to wear a hearing aid – this article will outline 7 ways hearing aids can improve your quality of life and perhaps even make you live longer.
Hearing aids not only amplify sounds, but they can also prevent loud sounds from being uncomfortable. There is a cut-off threshold to which the hearing aids amplify sounds – which is adjusted by your trusted Audiologist based on your perception of the maximum sounds you can tolerate.
Untreated hearing loss greatly inhibits our ability to communicate and participate in a social setting. Hearing aids allow you to re-engage in activities that you have isolated yourself from when you first got a hearing loss. Think back to the days when you would have to pretend to follow a conversation at a dinner party because you couldn’t hear what was being said. Hearing aids make it possible for you to communicate with your loved ones and friends – making you a part of the conversation.
Hearing aids allow you to communicate with someone without having to ask the person to speak louder, or to repeat what they said. This greatly reduces the feeling of embarrassment that caused you to sit out on different social events.
People with hearing loss, especially older adults, are more at risk to fall into depression and feel emotionally unstable compared to people who hear normally. So, wearing a hearing aid can reduce the risk of depression as you are able to hear people and sounds around you instead of feeling blocked out and left out because you are not able to hear. Hearing aids stimulate the auditory nerve connecting to the limbic system – the part of the brain which controls emotions and hearing. This keeps that area of the brain active.
People with hearing loss, even a mild one, have been found to have higher risks of falling. A study from John Hopkins University concluded that the brain takes on additional load when straining to hear, negatively affecting the parts of the brain which control balance and gait. This is because people with hearing loss cannot fully gauge their surroundings as sound localisation is impaired. Wearing a hearing aid would reduce the burden on the brain to try and juggle one more extra thing.
Research shows that the rate of cognitive decline increases with the increased severity of hearing loss. A person with even a mild hearing loss has a 40 per cent higher rate of cognitive decline compared to people with normal hearing. On the other hand, this does not just affect older people, researchers from Monash University found that people aged 50 and under with hearing loss have an increased risk of cognitive decline.
Given the link between cognitive decline and hearing loss, it can be assumed that wearing hearing aids is beneficial, even if you have a mild hearing loss. Hearing aids may delay the onset of dementia or other cognitive issues.
Hearing loss does not only affect the person suffering from it, it also affects the people who are close to them. Hearing loss impairs your ability to hear sounds and speech normally. That often leads to missing out on jokes and interpreting spoken words wrong, which can rub your communication partner up the wrong way. Frustrations from having to repeat oneself often loom, especially when one is tired.
Wearing hearing aids may save you from relationship troubles that arose from your hearing difficulties. Hearing aids can help you follow conversations with more ease. When you have your hearing aids on, the TV volume can be set at a level that’s comfortable for you and your partner, increasing the amount of quality time spent with each other.
Wearing hearing aids can help with responding to different alert sounds present in our daily lives. This includes emergency vehicles, smoke alarms and fire engine sirens. Hearing aids enable you to hear all these sounds and react to them in no time. Having a hearing loss and not wearing hearing aids, you will miss out on alerts and may even cause mishaps while driving or going about your day. People with hearing loss at high frequencies may find it harder to hear these sounds, yet the ability to hear them can make a big difference in life or death emergencies.
Tinnitus can be a huge disruption in one’s life. Tinnitus may be caused by hearing loss or other underlying reasons. Sometimes tinnitus stems from an obstruction in the ear such as impacted wax or an injury in the ear. Other times it is caused by stress or medications. However, it has been found that hearing loss is one of the major causes of tinnitus, be it age-related or noise-induced.
Hearing aids will reduce the perception of tinnitus by improving your hearing. With a constant flow of sounds going into your ears, they mask tinnitus. There are specific programs that can be set up by your Audiologist to help you retrain your brain to adjust to new sounds and drown out tinnitus. Hearing aids subtly amplify background sound and indirectly help reduce tinnitus. They redirect the brain to focus on the sounds you want to hear instead of the tinnitus.
If you would like to learn more about the life-changing effects of hearing aids, begin your journey with a hearing test! Protect your hearing health, and book your hearing test at a local Attune Hearing clinic today or give us a call at 1300 736 702!