Investing in Your Health Treating Hearing Loss

Investing in Your Health: Treating Hearing Loss

Kate Marnell, HIS
Latest posts by Kate Marnell, HIS (see all)

We don’t stay young forever and that does not have to be a bad thing. As we age, we grow wiser, gathering life experience and skills to push our own personal boundaries and share knowledge with others. It is important to take excellent care of ourselves as we age to ensure that our bodies can support our amazing minds and life experiences. When we were younger many of us may have felt invincible, but as we age, it is time for us to pay attention to our health and deal with issues before they can develop into larger problems. Investing in your health is one of the greatest investments you can make. 

As we reach 65 years of age it’s a good idea to monitor your hearing. This is because one in three people over 65 struggles with a hearing issue and you may not even know you have one. Hearing loss often develops slowly over time. At first you may not be able to hear whispers or the sound of birds chirping in the trees. As the years continue you may become used to not hearing these sounds. However, undiagnosed hearing loss can impact emotional, mental and physical health. The sooner hearing loss is addressed, the sooner these issues have the potential to reverse themselves.

Here are just some of the benefits of investing in your hearing as soon as possible:

More happiness for you and your family

Though hearing loss occurs in the ears it ultimately affects communication. It becomes more difficult to communicate with loved ones such as partners, family and friends. Miscommunications from hearing loss can build tension and cause rifts over time leading to social anxiety, sleep issues and chronic depression. This can lead people to become less social and isolate themselves. The sooner you treat your hearing the sooner you can start to rebuild these rifts in your relationships. A large study from 1999 by the National Council on the Ageing found that those who wore hearing aids were more socially active, less prone to depression and anxiety. The study found that family members were able to identify these improved traits from an objective perspective. Even though this study is over two decades old, not much has changed on the positive impact on hearing aids on improving relationships and overall happiness.

Increased earning power

Your personal relationships are not the only ones affected by unaddressed hearing loss. For those who struggle with hearing at work it is all too common for them to mishear important information, making you appear less reliable. A 2011 study from the Better Hearing Institute found that those with hearing loss suffered an average loss of $30,000 in earnings annually. The study found that the use of hearing aids to treat hearing loss at work improved productivity at work, efficiency and improved earnings significantly.

The study also revealed that those with substantial untreated hearing loss were twice as likely to be unemployed than those who used hearing aids. Wearing hearing aids can almost completely mitigate the negative effects of hearing loss on work earnings and employment.

Better cognitive health

Untreated hearing loss has a serious impact on cognitive health, and this can start in the early stages of hearing loss that are difficult to self-diagnose. Hearing loss occurs when the cells of the inner ear become damaged, limiting the amount of audio information which is received by your brain. It is often certain tones or pitches which slip away first, forcing your brain to work overtime to fill in the blanks. This causes cognitive strain and exhaustion. Hearing aids can combat this by amplifying the sounds you struggle to receive so you can hear clearer. The sooner you invest in hearing aids the easier it is for your brain to use the auditory pathways it has created for sound processing. Studies find that ignoring the issue can increase the risk of developing dementia sooner or later.

Investing in Quality of Life

Hearing can ultimately affect your self-esteem, self-confidence and overall quality of life. Scheduling a hearing test today is not only monitoring a hearing loss to see if you could benefit from treatment but an investment in the relationships you’ve gathered in your life. It’s an investment in your career and it’s an investment in everything you’ve learned. Today is the day to deal with your hearing now, so you can create the future you deserve.