February 21, 2019
When making the decision to get hearing aids, you’re not only going to improve your hearing, you’re also taking a positive step towards a better quality of life. Studies have shown that people with hearing loss who use hearing aids report an enhancement in their relationships, in their social lives, and in their ability to communicate more effectively with loved ones and colleagues.
Hearing loss plays a significant role in many important issues that impact our well-being and quality of life. In this blog we explore some of the benefits you may experience by taking the step to treating your hearing loss and share with you real life experiences from HearClear Audiology clients.
“I would like the world to know that I have re-discovered sounds that I have not heard for a very long time!” Maurice Keane
Like Maurice, it’s often not until people get hearing aids that they realise how much they have been missing out on. Maybe you miss the sound of birds chirping, or the waves rolling in at the beach, or perhaps the laughter of children. With modern hearing aids, you can even connect to your TV or smartphone to help you hear your favourite TV show, listen to your favourite music or even take phone calls directly through your hearing aids.
Untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation, as the challenges of listening and feelings of missing out often cause people to withdraw from the friends, loved ones and activities that bring them joy. Social isolation is closely linked to numerous quality-of-life issues, including depression, illness, exhaustion and even shorter life spans. Treating hearing loss with hearing aids enables you to hear, participate, and ensure you don’t miss out on the people and activities that bring you joy.
“I was able to attend various social functions to put (the hearing aids) to the test including noisy environments, meetings, a funeral, and I was also an MC at a wedding. I found it unbelievable that I heard what was being said at each occasion. It made me realise that over the years I have missed so much conversation.” Jeff Drogemuller
“I booked us both in for a hearing test at HearClear. I did not realise I had booked in for the best marriage aid.” Mary Saunders
Communication is an important part of relationships and untreated hearing loss often leads to frustration, arguments and feelings of being ignored or unheard. New hearing aid wearers experience a positive impact on their relationships when they start using hearing aids, and this is echoed by their partners, family members and friends. Once fitted with hearing aids, many of our clients have the same experience as Mary & her husband did; “I also notice we don’t have the frustration of repeating ourselves, guessing what each other has said or choosing to not say anything as it is easier to stay quiet than create tension with the one we love. Thank you HearClear, you have made my husband a dear to hear.”
Studies have shown that people with untreated hearing loss are more likely to experience dementia than someone without hearing loss. Mild hearing loss results in a 2-fold risk of developing the condition, moderate hearing loss results in a 3-fold risk, and profound hearing loss is associated with a 5-fold increased risk of dementia.
The good news is that all the studies showed significant improvement for people who treated their hearing loss. It has been well documented in recent years that wearing hearing aids greatly reduces the risk of cognitive decline associated with hearing loss, thus reducing the severity or delaying the development of dementia.
Approximately half of all people with hearing loss in Australia are of below the age of 65. Your ability to hear is vitally important in your professional life. Experiencing hearing loss while you are still working can affect how well you communicate with co-workers or supervisors, how easily or safely you perform your job, and could impact your overall job performance, which may lead to loss of income or missing out on a promotion.
Research by Better Hearing Institute found that untreated hearing loss can reduce your earnings and, on the flipside, it also found that correcting hearing loss with hearing aids was found to reduce the risk of decreased earnings by over 90% for people with mild hearing loss, and nearly 77% for those with moderate to severe hearing loss.
“I still have my career doing what I love, being a fun learning facilitator. I did not realise how much I was lip reading, guessing what people were saying and getting more tired at the end of the day because I needed to concentrate more.” Mary Saunders
Missed or misheard signals like car horns, alarms and other warning alerts can endanger your ability to stay safe and keep those around you safe. If you are caring for infants and young children you need to know when your loved one is crying or in distress. If you are driving you need to know if you’ve left your indicator on. Treating hearing loss with hearing aids enhances the awareness you experience of your surroundings and can help ensure you recognise every smoke detector, bike bell, emergency alert or distress call the first time it sounds.
A study in the US showed that middle aged people (40-69 years old) with mild hearing loss were nearly 3 times more likely to have a history of falling than people of the same age without hearing loss. The increased risk of falling in people with hearing loss is believed to be due to reduced awareness of their overall environment which could lead to tripping and falling more likely. Experts have suggested that the intensive listening effort demanded by untreated hearing loss may also take cognitive resources away from what is needed for balance and gait.
These are just 7 of many benefits treating your hearing loss may have on your quality of life. Early detection is an important part of treating hearing loss as it helps slow down subsequent hearing decline and keeps your brain responding to the sounds in your environment. Unfortunately, the longer the hearing loss is left untreated, the harder it is to re-engage the brain.
If you suspect that either you, a friend or family member may be experiencing undiagnosed hearing loss, be proactive and call HearClear Audiology on 1300 552 207 to make an appointment for a FREE hearing assessment.*
*Free Hearing Assessment available for all adults over the age of 21.
"Evaluation of the Social and Economic Costs of Hearing Impairment", October 2006, Hear-it AISBL
“The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income”, May 2007, Sergei Kochkin Ph.D.
“Hearing Loss Linked to Accelerated Brain Tissue Loss” January 2014, Johns Hopkins Medicine
“Access Economics: Listen Hear! The Economic impact and cost of hearing loss in Australia.” February 2006
“The impact of treated hearing loss on quality of life” Sergei Kochkin Ph.D.
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