How hearing aids can improve the quality of your life
Around 6.4% of the world’s population is affected by hearing loss which requires rehabilitation, however only 1 in 3 who have hearing loss use hearing aids. If left untreated, hearing loss can negatively affect speech and communication, social engagement, and overall quality of life. Hearing aids are compact devices primarily designed to address and alleviate hearing loss. When correctly matched to your hearing, they restore missing sounds, help with hearing speech and improve communication. Research studies have shown that in comparison to adults with mild to moderate hearing loss who do not use hearing aids, those who use hearing aids exhibit improved listening ability, as well as enhanced hearing-specific and general health related quality of life. Here are a list of ways hearing aids can improve your quality of life:
Improved communication and social interactions: Hearing aids help individuals by bringing back missing sounds, making those sounds louder and providing better and clearer speech signals to improve hearing in both quiet and noisy environments. By reducing background noise, hearing aids enhance the user’s ability to effectively communicate with family and friends, leading to increased social interactions, greater overall participation, and a reduced risk of feeling isolated.
Improved independence: Hearing loss often leads people to withdraw from social interactions, making them less confident and more reliant on others. Hearing aids can help empower users by giving them more confidence to participate in social interactions and conversations independently without the help of others. Being able to hear more easily allows users to better look after themselves by being more active, less reliant on others in daily tasks and increasing personal safety in different surroundings, and overall being more dependent in different environments.
Better quality of sleep and overall comfort: For individuals who experience tinnitus (ringing in the ears) along with hearing loss, hearing aids can offer valuable assistance. They work by masking the tinnitus noise, leading to better sleep and increased overall comfort in daily life.
Better work performance and financial wellbeing: Effective communication is an important part of any profession, so when hearing is untreated, it can lead to more chances of errors when undergoing tasks, which can impact overall work performance. Hearing aids not only aid in enhancing communication with colleagues at work but also contribute to improved concentration and increased productivity by reducing cognitive load (this is the energy required for your brain to process and identify sound – more energy is required to process sounds when there is any hearing loss). Those who wear a hearing aid also have a better chance of increasing their earning potential compared to those who have a hearing loss and are unaided, as there are better chances of employment and work opportunities as they can maintain their work or improve in their professional lives due to higher performance and productivity.
Better mental health: Untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation and depression, and can also cause anxiety, stress and frustration when participating in conversational environments. There are benefits to your mental health and quality of life when you wear hearing aids regularly. Studies have shown that hearing aids lower the risk of depressive symptoms when worn regularly, as they keep you stay better connected with others, increasing your participation and overall mood and self-esteem.
Better cognitive function: Untreated hearing loss can interfere with the cognitive process of understanding and processing speech and language leading to an increased risk of cognitive conditions like dementia. However, this is very treatable with hearing aids. Studies have found that wearing hearing aids increases brain function and reduces the decline of cognitive risks like dementia by 50%, over a 3 year period of wearing hearing aids.
Hearing is important and any changes to it can affect many aspects of life. Most people who have hearing loss don’t get hearing aids until around 10 years into their hearing loss. Hearing aids are one of the best rehabilitation devices that can help improve hearing and overall quality of life.
If you have noticed any changes to your hearing, it might be time for a hearing test. Early detection and identification are essential for managing and treating hearing concerns.
At Knox Audiology, we take pride in our team of university qualified and experienced audiologists, who are committed to providing trusted, friendly, and professional hearing services, catering to all your unique hearing needs. Our comprehensive and diagnostic hearing tests are designed to understand and address your specific concerns, ensuring the best possible outcomes.