While hearing loss is an incredibly common condition, statistics show that prompt hearing loss treatment is not. Most people wait seven years on average before they decide to seek help with their hearing.
Untreated hearing loss can affect many aspects of our lives, from maintaining our relationships to enjoying everyday activities. This is one reason why it is crucial to seek treatment for hearing loss as soon as it becomes noticeable. Treating hearing loss brings a host of benefits in many different areas of our lives.
With untreated hearing loss, people tend to avoid social situations with families and friends. When struggling with speech understanding, these experiences can become difficult and frustrating. Additionally, challenges with speech understanding could lead our loved ones to feel like we are not interested in what they say.
However, as we manage our hearing loss, all this starts changing. When we can participate in conversations that surround us, we are more likely to engage. A recent Harvard study that has been tracking hundreds of people for over 70 years has found that the consistency of a person's ties to family and friends, and social interactions have been the most critical factor in living a happier and healthier life.
With hearing aids, you’ll experience more of the special moments in life, from the whispered "I love you” from your wife to the sounds of laughter from your grandchildren as they play out in the yard.
Improved Cognitive Health
A growing body of research in the last decade has shown that cognitive decline is closely associated with untreated hearing loss.
One of the most well-known studies was published in 2011 by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The study showed that people with moderate hearing impairment were twice as likely to have experienced dementia over their peers without hearing loss. The risk grew significantly for people with significant hearing loss, with this group being five times more likely to develop the disease. Such findings remained consistent even after other factors we accounted for, such as physical health, smoking habits, age, and socio-economic status.
Fortunately, hearing aids have been shown to delay cognitive loss dramatically in older adults. Perhaps better news, after only a few short months of use, hearing aids have been shown to slow cognitive decline.
Improved Safety and Balance
Our ears keep us safe in various ways, from alerting us to noises from around the corner to letting us know that the timer for the oven is beeping. Hearing aids have been shown to improve safety at home and outside by offering better spatial awareness.
The Washington University School of Medicine undertook a study that also found that our hearing capacity correlates significantly with our ability to retain our balance. This means those who wear hearing aids are less likely to experience falls and accidents.