Investing in Your Health: Treating Hearing Loss

When you are young and enjoying health, it may feel close to impossible to imagine that in the future, health issues can affect the quality of your life. However, before you know it, time will present you with a moment when your health must be addressed. When you address potential health issues now you are already preparing yourself for a future, which increases the possibility of good health and a greater quality of life.

Approximately 466 million people worldwide live with hearing loss and it is estimated that by 2050 over 700 million people, equaling one in every ten people will have disabling hearing loss. The CDC reports that” One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations.“ 

While this by no means, ensures that you will struggle with hearing loss, it certainly increases the chances that you are currently dealing with a developing hearing loss that will affect severely in the future. Regular screenings for hearing loss are essential to catch a hearing loss early. This enables you to act, invest in the future of your health and treat a hearing loss before the many negative side effects can start to impact your future self.

Here are some of the returns that investing in your hearing can provide:

Protect your cognitive health

There are many studies that illuminate the serious health effect, untreated hearing loss has on your cognitive health. One study found that those with even a mild hearing loss scored lower on cognitive health exams when compared to those with normal hearing. This is because a hearing impairment causes your brain to strain. While you hear with your ears, the sounds and speech are comprehended in the brain. When hearing loss occurs, less sound information is transmitted to the brain which can cause listening exhaustion and cognitive fatigue over time.

The worse your hearing becomes the more strain is put on your brain. A 2013 study led by Dr Frank R. Lin from the Johns Hopkins Center for Aging and Health investigated 1,984 older adults and discovered  direct correlations between the severity of an individual’s hearing loss and the severity of cognitive decline. A mild hearing loss was found to double the risk of developing dementia, while a moderate hearing loss tripled the risk. A severe hearing loss increased the chances of dementia five-fold!

The good news is that investing in hearing aids sooner than later can prevent cognitive decline which can lead to dementia. A study from the University of Manchester in the UK, found that treating hearing loss with hearing aids can reduce the risk of dementia by up to 75 percent! 

Increase your earning power

When you struggle to hear people in the workplace, they may misinterpret this as you seeming disinterested or confused. Over time this can significantly affect your success in the workplace. In fact, the Better Hearing Institute found that in 2011, those with untreated hearing loss in the workplace lost an average of $30,000 annually. Those with hearing loss were found to be twice as likely to be unemployed as those with normal hearing.

The important thing to understand is that the study found that wearing hearing aids can significantly avoid loss of income, loss of promotions and unemployment in the workforce. While hearing aids often come with a hefty price, comparing this to potential lost wages means that hearing aids are an incredibly worthwhile investment.

Protect your quality of life

Encyclopedia Britannica describes quality of life as “the degree to which an individual is healthy, comfortable, and able to participate in or enjoy life events.” It is important to understand that health hearing has a larger role in quality of life than many first suspect. When we can hear clearly, we can connect to the people in our life. We stay social, active, independent, and able to pursue our passions. A large study by the National Council on the Ageing, found that those who used hearing aids were, on average, more socially active and less susceptible to depression, worry, paranoia or insecurity. When you can hear the people in your life, using hearing aids, you can continue to enjoy a higher quality of life for years to come.

The time is now!

An investment in your hearing can start today. It’s never too early to get a hearing test. Annual hearing tests ensure that you can detect a hearing loss, even if it’s slight, and start addressing it before it becomes a larger issue in the future. Invest now and schedule a hearing test today!