Hearing Aids Stop The Domino Effect
Call it a "domino effect" or a "chain reaction," but when it comes to hearing loss, your ears are not the only thing suffering.
It's a much-too-common misconception that a hearing loss is a self-contained condition; in other words, that it does not lead to or cause other ailments.
Do we have news for you!
Actually, hearing loss can seriously impact our overall health, well-being, and safety. This fact has been documented in many studies, but it bears repeating because, in far too many cases, this warning falls on – no pun intended – deaf ears.
Alarming numbers on hearing loss
Hearing loss is the third most prevalent, but treatable, condition among seniors, behind arthritis and hypertension.
In the United States, an estimated 3 out of 10 people over 60 are hearing impaired. Additionally, 1 in 6 baby boomers (ages 41-59); 1 in 14 of those who are 29 to 40; and at least 1.4 million children, have hearing loss.
All in all, an estimated 36 million Americans suffer from hearing problems, and many of them do not treat this condition. Studies show that while 95 percent of people with hearing loss can be helped by hearing aids, only 23 percent currently use them.
You may wonder why people get help for arthritis and high blood pressure, but neglect their hearing loss. It could be because they are not aware of the potential consequences of an untreated hearing impairment.
Sometimes, Silence is Not Golden
|Stop the domino effect - treat your hearing loss|
Research carried out at a university in Finland – one of many such studies conducted around the world - investigated emotional problems associated with hearing loss. It showed that over half of respondents had been negatively affected by impaired (and unaided) hearing, suffering from embarrassment, isolation, and depression.
How can diminished hearing have an impact on your quality of life?
We are glad you asked. When you can't hear – or respond to - the sounds around you, when you don't understand the conversation, when you can't participate in social activities and interactions, you can become a recluse.
And, you are not the only one affected. Your spouse, children, and other members of your family are missing out on a relationship with you, which, in turn, can produce feelings of loss and even guilt. You might be asking yourself: "Is it my fault that I can't interact with my loved ones?"
What happens then? First frustration sets in, then feelings of loneliness and isolation. You may be thinking: "Nobody wants me." "Nobody talks to me." "Why is everyone shouting at me?"
If, at this point, you are still not moved to get treatment, you may end up with full-blown depression.
And that bleak scenario doesn't even take into consideration safety issues. Imagine what could happen if you are on a busy street and can't hear the sound of a car honking at you to get out of the way? Or your fire alarm goes off, but you keep sleeping?
Yes, it can be that serious. Fortunately, there is a simple way to prevent this downward spiral and improve your quality of life.
Now for the Good News
Let's start with scientific evidence: In its study of 2,000 people with hearing loss and their families, the National Council on the Aging demonstrated a link between the use of hearing aids and significant improvements in the social, emotional, psychological and physical well-being of the wearer.
But that's not all.
The same conclusion was borne out in a "A Systematic Review of Health-Related Quality of Life and Hearing Aids: Final Report of the American Academy of Audiology Task Force on the Health-Related Quality of Life Benefits of Amplification in Adults."
The report's title may be rather complex, but its message is not: People who wear hearing aids experience a better quality of life than those who do not.
Similar findings are uniform around the world, as indicated in a 2006 British report entitled "Evaluation of the Social and Economic Costs of Hearing Impairment," featuring a scientific review of numerous international surveys about the impact of hearing aids on quality of life. Data from the United States, Europe and Australia was compiled to clearly bear out the following facts:
- Hearing aids users enjoy not only a better quality of life than non-users, but also better overall health.
- Hearing aid wearers are less introverted and more likely to engage in social activities than those who don't wear them.
- Those who wear hearing aids not only communicate better with people around them, but they also enjoy better personal relationships.
Hearing Aids to the Rescue
The "take home" message here is clear: use of hearing aids has a beneficial effect, not only on hearing per se, but also on mental and emotional well-being.
How does that work? It's simple: when you can hear and understand other people, you are more likely to participate in various activities and family events, and generally remain more active. You will not feel isolated, "out of touch," and ignored by family and friends.
The Better Hearing Institute sums it up best - Hearing Aids can Boost your:
- Earning power
- Communication in relationships
- Intimacy and warmth in family relationships
- Emotional stability
- Sense of control over life events
- Perception of mental functioning
- Physical health
Think about it this way: your health, safety, and happiness lie in your (fully functional) ears.