Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
Treating hearing loss has numerous benefits that significantly improve daily life and overall health. Hearing is a major way we navigate and understand the world. Tending to hearing health enables people to be more present and fully engage in their environments, shaping the major benefits of treatment!
Treating hearing loss alleviates the symptoms the condition produces. These symptoms, which make communication tough, include: tinnitus (buzzing or ringing noise in the ears), muffled sound, asking others to repeat themselves, difficulty hearing in settings with background noise, pretending to hear etc. Consistently experiencing these symptoms during conversations prevents people from being able to easily understand and follow what is being said. This can make conversations tense, unpleasant, and lead to miscommunication.
Hearing aids provide significant support with processing sound which enables people to hear more clearly and with greater ease. This allows people with hearing loss to be better equipped to fully understand and respond without having to strain themselves or overwork. Being able to engage in these ways facilitates effective communication.
Enhanced communication absolutely improves relationships and is the foundation for sustaining healthy relationships. Effective communication is the foundation for sustaining healthy relationships. Untreated hearing loss can often take a toll on relationships by creating distance, misunderstanding, and impacting the quality of time you spend with others. Treating hearing loss allows you to share the intimacy of conversations, easily express yourself, and hear (and understand) what others are communicating to you. These benefits help nurture relationships and cultivate easy communication. Treating hearing loss also addresses and alleviates the concerns loved ones may have about your hearing health.
Enriched Social Life
In addition to improving your relationships with loved ones, treating hearing loss also enriches social life and wellness. One of the most significant impacts of untreated hearing loss is social withdrawal. Because conversations can be difficult, people with untreated hearing loss can decide to avoid social interaction altogether. Seeking reprieve from the fatigue and the labor that conversations can require, people can isolate themselves. Not only does this strain relationships, but social withdrawal impacts mental health by contributing to anxiety, loneliness, and depression.
Treating hearing loss and wearing hearing aids allows people to navigate social settings and interactions with greater independence and confidence. The support that hearing aids provide means not having to constantly rely on others or guess what people are saying. This allows people to show up more fully and engage with clarity. These benefits enrich social life and engagement.
Increases Physical Safety
Processing sound is critical for ensuring safety. Our ability to detect potential danger is connected to our ability to hear – hearing cars, sirens, voices expressing warning, crossing the street etc. Treating hearing loss allows people to better hear the different types of sound in their environment. This gives people greater spatial awareness and the ability to navigate environmental hazards.
Improved Cognitive Health
Extensive research shows that there is a correlation between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline. Hearing loss increases the risk of developing cognitive decline, which can accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s. Treating hearing loss addresses this increased risk by improving cognitive functions. Studies have shown that hearing aids positively impact brain health and cognitive abilities. A recent study highlighting this was published in Science Daily in February 2020. Researchers at the University of Melbourne examined the use of hearing aids on nearly 100 participants and found that, “97% of participants showed either clinically significant improvement or stability in executive function (mental ability to plan, organize information and initiate tasks)”.
Improved Job Performance
Strained communication produced by untreated hearing loss can really impact your job performance. Everyday work tasks can take longer and be more difficult to complete. Communicating with others in the workplace can also be challenging which can lead to missing critical information needed to perform your job effectively. A 2016 study found that people with untreated hearing loss were twice as likely to be unemployed or underemployed. Treating hearing loss strengthens job performance which reduces the barriers to working effectively. Having a hearing loss diagnosis also qualifies you to receive workplace accommodations which are intended to create greater accessibility in ways that support your hearing health!