Hearing aids could benefit about 28 million people. Naturally, when we discuss statistics like that, we generally mean that those 28 million individuals would hear their surroundings a little more clearly if they had some help (in the form of a specialized device). But there are also certain other, relatively surprising health advantages that you can begin to take advantage of thanks to your hearing aids.
As it turns out, something as straight forward as wearing your hearing aids could help your physical and mental health. These tiny gadgets can help prevent (or forestall) everything from injury from a fall to depression. Your hearing aids can literally help you stay on your feet.
Mental Health Advantages of Hearing Aids
The connection between untreated hearing loss and mental decline is rather well established by modern medical research. Mental illnesses such as depression, cognitive decline, anxiety, and dementia, in line with current thinking, can be induced by hearing loss due to a mix of mental, physical and social factors.
So the mental health advantages of hearing aids shouldn’t be all that unexpected.
Reducing Your Risk of Dementia
Based on one study, wearing your hearing aids can help decrease your chances of developing dementia by up to 18%. That’s a wonderful benefit when all you have to do is remember to wear your hearing aids each day.
Other studies have suggested that wearing your hearing aids regularly can delay the onset of dementia by as many as a couple of years. This is very inspiring and with more research done to duplicate and clarify these figures, we can come a long way in the fight against mental decline and illness.
Anxiety And Depression Can be Decreased
Depression and anxiety aren’t symptoms that are unique to individuals who suffer from hearing loss. But there’s plenty of evidence to indicate that people who have hearing loss are at a higher risk of developing both anxiety and depression as time passes.
Wearing your hearing aids can help keep you socially involved and mentally engaged. Hearing aids can be especially helpful if those factors are contributing to depression and anxiety.
You Won’t Feel as Lonely
While dementia may sound much more extreme, isolation can be a serious problem for individuals who suffer from untreated hearing loss, caused by and exacerbating a sense of social isolation. That social separation can cause substantial changes to your mood. So being able to stay social and involved with help from your hearing aid can be a big advantage.
To be sure, this ties together with your hearing aids’ ability to decrease the risks of depression, for example. All of these health concerns, to some extent, are in some manner connected.
Hearing Aids And Physical Benefits
As your hearing impairment worsens, there is some research that shows that you might be at a higher risk of stroke. But these studies are in preliminary stages. It’s a little easier to recognize the more pronounced physical benefit of hearing aids: you won’t fall as much.
This takes place for two reasons:
- Situational awareness: This means you’ll be more capable of steering clear of obstacles that could cause a fall.
- Fall detection: In some cases, it’s not the fall that’s perilous. Instead, it’s your inability to get back up that creates possible danger. Many new designs of hearing aids come with fall detection built in. You can program emergency phone numbers into your phone which will automatically be called if you take a tumble.
Falling can have fairly significant health effects, particularly as you age. So avoiding falls (or minimizing the damage from falling) can be a huge advantage that ripples throughout your overall health.
Be Certain to Wear Your Hearing Aids
It’s worth keeping in mind that all of these benefits apply to individuals who suffer from hearing conditions. Hearing aids won’t, for instance, help someone with healthy hearing avoid falling.
But if you do suffer from hearing loss, the smartest thing you can do for your ears, and for the rest of your body, is to use your hearing aids.