Most people think of hearing aids primarily as a solution to their hearing impairment, but hearing aids have many more benefits which people either forget about, or do not know about.
Below is a list of health benefits of hearing aids. Just in case better hearing wasn’t enough!
Cognition – Keeping your mind sharp
Last year, the results of a 25-year study were published, showing that although individuals with a hearing loss are at greater risk of cognitive decline, the use of hearing aids definitively reduces this risk. The study used 3,700 adults over the age of 65 and found that whilst the majority of them suffered some level of cognitive decline, the cognition of the people with hearing loss who did not use hearing aids declined at an accelerated rate, whereas individuals with the same loss who used hearing aids experienced cognitive decline at the same rate any individual with normal hearing.
Safety – Keeping out of harm’s way
Hearing is deeply linked with your sense of balance and position. A study undertaken by researchers at John Hopkins University found that people with mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have had a fall, and any increases in hearing loss brought about a proportional increased risk of falling. Researchers involved came up with two possible explanations as to why this might be. One is that if people can’t hear well, they’ll be less aware of their surrounding environment, making it more likely they’ll trip and fall. The second is that gait and balance which are responsible for keeping you balanced and stable are both very cognitively demanding, and may be afforded less attention by the brain if it becomes overwhelmed with trying to cope with hearing loss.
Quality of Life – Don’t miss anything
A lot of people who have hearing loss are aware that they’re missing things, but are unaware as to what. The inability to hear properly makes communication with other people difficult. In turn, this makes it harder for people to remain engages with the rest of society, including family and friends. Scientists have established a strong link between hearing problems and depression; in America, around 15-20% of the elderly have been diagnosed with depression.
There are many scientific studies highlighting the social isolation which comes with hearing loss, which often leads to mental health issues, and an increased risk of suicide. In general, people with hearing loss who use hearing aids tend to have a better quality of life than people who do not.