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There’s no denying that the first step towards hearing aids is the hardest. Luckily, user reviews suggest that the following steps thereafter are much easier, and worth every effort. Users consistently report an improved quality of life once they’ve had a chance to settle into their new devices. Beyond the more obvious benefits that hearing aids provide, there turns out to be a whole range of more subtle advantages. It’s common to not even be aware of the less tangible aspects of our lives that can gently fade away with those sounds we no longer hear.

Studies by The Better Hearing Institute and The National Council on Aging have aimed to get a clearer understanding of the wide array of benefits that hearing aids can present in user’s lives. Via national user surveys and long-term studies, they’ve asked hearing aid wearing individuals about what life is like before and after they incorporated these helpful devices into their daily lives.

Some of their answers were more surprising than others. Of course, the expected reviews on the benefit of hearing full conversations and the enjoyment of hearing rich sounds again were present across the board. But what was less expected were the reports on how much user’s overall mental, emotional, and even physical wellbeing had improved. Beyond that, the clarity on just how greatly untreated hearing loss can affect the brain and one’s earning capacity offered a new perspective of the impact hearing loss can have on people’s lives.

Here are some of the more interesting findings from these reports:

Improved Outlook

Studies show that people with hearing aids feel more self-assured and engaged in their own lives. Hearing aids have given them back a sense of personal freedom, security, and overall confidence. In turn, their entire mental outlook improved and they regained their expectations of positive results.

Brain Health

Studies from recent years have been revealing a link between dementia and untreated hearing loss. Some studies have even discovered that leaving hearing loss untreated can potentially increase the risk for dementia by as much as 36% as the individual ages. Research on cognitive impairment as the result of poor hearing continues on, and recent findings have pointed to increased loss of memory for individuals who delay treating their hearing loss.

Improved Income

While it’s understandable that the use of hearing aids is related to preserved earning ability, many folks are shocked by the amount that can actually be impacted by untreated hearing loss. A national survey by The Better Hearing Institute discovered that household earnings were reduced by $30,000 annually in some cases, depending on the severity of hearing loss.

Improved Relationships

From the loneliness that can result from avoiding social engagements, to feeling left out in group conversations, the effects that hearing loss can have on a person’s sense of connectedness can be serious. Hearing aid users report their ability to engage in social scenarios greatly improved with hearing aids, and that it also raised their interest in preserving a strong social network. Hearing aids bring back more than people’s voices- they can revive our relationships and our sense of purpose.

Better Physical Well-Being

When we get our ears checked by a hearing professional, considerations about our heart’s health are likely far from our minds. But studies connecting the two have consistently revealed a strong relationship: heart health and hearing health are intricately linked. It turns out that our hearing health provides a glimpse into the quality and capacity of our heart’s pumping strength, and directly impacts hearing health. Studies suggest that this is because our complex hearing system is highly dependent on proper blood circulation to the inner ear, where even the slightest reductions in circulation are seen. Moreover, this relationship appears to be bidirectional, as more studies confirm that people with hearing aids are more likely to engage in healthy cardiovascular exercise. User reports have supported these findings: they feel better when they hear better, and feeling good is a strong indicator of exercise and other self-care habits.

While hearing our favourite songs with clarity again, being able to notice the unique voices of our family and friends, and enjoying the songs of the birds again is surely reason enough to help us overcome any lingering resistance to getting hearing aids, more subtle advantages are being added to the list with each new published survey and study.

Reach out to a hearing specialist if you think you’re ready to enjoy these benefit

Resources:

http://www.betterhearing.org/news/how-can-treating-hearing-loss-help-me-stay-youthful-and-active

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-hearing-cognition-aids-idUSKBN0N82GG20150417

https://www.aaas.org/news/early-intervention-speech-hearing-language-disorders-could-yield-benefits

http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/04/04/aje.kwu333.abstract?sid=0d38289e-ca1a-4718-bbc0-f0156229ae0d

http://www.betterhearing.org/sites/default/files/quality_of_life.pdf

http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/fullarticle/1835392

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