There’s a very simple message for anyone suffering from hearing loss: Use hearing aids.
Why? A recent study found that people were not as likely to develop health problems like depression, anxiety, dementia, and dangerous falls if they started using hearing aids within three years of being diagnosed with hearing impairment. While this doesn’t prove hearing aids prevent these health issues, their use is associated with fewer health issues. Results from the study showed that hearing aid users were 18% less likely to develop dementia, 11% less likely to develop depression or anxiety, and 13% less likely to suffer a dangerous fall.
Avoid Making Excuses
It’s important to keep in mind that regarding your health, these numbers may appear low but they’re still significant. Previous research has shown a correlation between hearing loss and other significant health problems, but this study verified it’s an ongoing, worsening issue. But many people who have hearing loss don’t have it treated or ever use hearing aids. Why not? For many, the lack of insurance coverage is a problem. And the cost may still be too high even with insurance.
Some people actually go in and get fitted but when they bring their hearing aid home, it seems like too much trouble to use them, so they don’t. Many people don’t view hearing loss as an important concern because they can turn up the TV volume to solve the problem.
While it might seem as if hearing loss is inevitable as you age, there’s more to it than that, and cranking up the volume is not the right answer.
Healthy Hearing is Important
Clearly, a primary element of communication is the ability to hear. Without the ability to communicate precisely, you might not comprehend questions asked by your doctors or family. Consequently, communicating your concerns and symptoms will be difficult.
Other issues linked to a lack of effective communication are less obvious. When you struggle to hear and keep up with a conversation on the phone, you may lose touch with some of the people in your support system out of embarrassment and frustration. And clearly, your chance of developing dementia is higher if your brain doesn’t get enough stimulation which occurs when you are unable to hear.
The Advantages of Hearing Aids
Severe long-term challenges are not all that wearing hearing aids is about. Using a hearing aid will immediately enhance your quality of life, as well as your long-term wellbeing. If you can hear and participate in conversations, it minimizes your chances of feeling isolated and lets you participate more completely in your social life. When you can communicate clearly with your doctor, you can effectively share the health issues you are experiencing and comprehend your doctor’s treatment plan to decrease your anxiety even more.
Is it time to look into a hearing aid? The answer is yes if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Being so afraid you won’t be able to follow conversations, you stay away from social interaction
- Turning the volume of the TV way up
- Trouble hearing the person you’re speaking to if there is background noise
- Constantly needing people to repeat what they said
These are only some of the symptoms that might indicate you need to consider a hearing aid. If any of them sound familiar, ask us if a hearing aid may be right for you.