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If you are considering hearing aids but are not sure if they are right for you, know that you are not alone. Hearing loss is a health condition that affects approximately 48 million Americans, according to Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), and is the third most common health condition behind arthritis and heart disease.
However, seniors are not the only population affected by hearing loss, as popular culture and media might lead you to believe. In fact, nearly a fifth of all Americans aged 12 and older have a hearing loss severe enough to negatively affect communication, according to a study by Johns Hopkins published in The Archives of Internal Medicine in 2011. It is estimated that Americans living with hearing loss outnumber those living with Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and Diabetes combined. Yet, experts also estimate that only about 20 percent of people who could benefit from wearing hearing aids actually wear them.
There are many proven benefits of wearing hearing aids, including improved communication and comprehension, decreased listening effort, and staying connected to loved ones. These are just a few of the varied and many advantages of wearing hearing aids. If you are still unsure if they are for you, here are five benefits of treating disabling hearing loss with hearing aids.
Better Pay at Work
A study by the Better Hearing Institute has found that people with untreated hearing loss can earn as much as $30,000 less than their counterparts. It also found that particular risk lessened by more than 90 percent when people with mild hearing loss wore hearing aids, and almost 77 percent for individuals with moderate-to-severe hearing loss. Along with the benefits to your overall health, it would behoove you to perform at your best in your place of work to ensure continued success.
Slow Cognitive Decline
Many studies have linked untreated hearing loss to an increased risk of developing dementia and mental fatigue and cognitive decline. Ongoing studies continue to show the correlation between untreated hearing loss and the absence of hearing aids. Hearing loss, when left untreated, can accelerate atrophy in the auditory nerve system of the brain, where speech and comprehension occur, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania.
However, researchers have found that hearing aids not only slow atrophy, but also improve your ability to hear and your brain’s ability to convert sounds into information. This promising area of research supports that combating disabling hearing loss with hearing aids could indeed slow cognitive decline.
Tinnitus effects nearly 1 in 6 people in the United States, nearly 50 million people. Sometimes it is described as a ringing or clicking sound in the ears, others describe it as a hissing, roaring or buzzing. More often than not, tinnitus is accompanied by some degree of hearing loss. Check with your hearing health care professional to see how a hearing aids fit to your specifications can help you hear better and reduce tinnitus.
Satisfaction with Performance of Hearing Aid
A study by the Better Hearing Institute, a non-profit, showed that over 91 percent of people who bought a hearing aid last year were satisfied with their purchase. Almost 90 percent of people who currently wear hearing aids would recommend them to a friend with hearing loss.
Quality of Life
It has been found that people who wear hearing aids to treat their hearing loss have a better quality of life than those who leave their hearing loss untreated. Communicating with family and friends is easier and more productive than otherwise asking them to repeat something, mis-hearing a word or phrase, or becoming frustrated by your hearing loss.
Maintaining social activity is also important to a healthy quality of life. Avoiding social isolation lowers the risk of depression, cognitive decline, and even dementia and Alzheimer’s. Being in touch with your loved ones, on the phone or in person, helps to promote healthy brain activity and sharpen communication skills.
Hearing Consultants, Inc.
If you would like to know more about the myriad benefits of treating hearing loss, reach out to us at Hearing Consultants, Inc. Our team looks forward to working with you and can provide you with helpful information. We can test your hearing, explain the results, and fit you for a hearing aid. Contact us today to learn more!