Hearing aids could benefit about 28 million people. Needless to say, when we talk about data like that, we usually mean that those 28 million people would hear the world a little bit better if they had some help (in the form of a specialized device). But your hearing aids can also help you enjoy some other health benefits.
Your mental and physical health can, as it turns out, be helped by something as simple as wearing hearing aids. Everything from a risk of falling to depression can be slowed or even prevented by these gadgets. In more ways than one, your hearing aids can help you stay on your feet.
Mental Health Benefits of Hearing Aids
The connection between neglected hearing loss and cognitive decline is pretty well demonstrated by modern medical research. Mental illnesses like depression, cognitive decline, anxiety, and dementia, according to current thinking, can be induced by hearing loss due to a combination of mental, physical and social factors.
So the mental health benefits of hearing aids shouldn’t be very unexpected.
Dementia Risks Decreased
Your risk of dementia can be lowered, as reported by one study, by almost 20%. That’s a wonderful advantage when the only thing you have to do is remember to wear your hearing aids on a daily basis.
Other research has suggested that wearing your hearing aids regularly can delay the onset of dementia by as many as two years. Further research has to be conducted to help clarify and duplicate these findings, but it’s certainly encouraging.
Reduce Anxiety And Depression
Lots of individuals suffer from depression and anxiety even if hearing loss is not a problem for them. But people who have hearing loss have been shown to be at a higher risk of anxiety and depression over time.
When you wear hearing aids, you are likely to stay more tuned in mentally and socially engaged. Hearing aids can be particularly helpful if those factors are contributing to depression and anxiety.
You’ll Feel Less Lonely
While it might not sound as dire or imperative as dementia, for people with untreated hearing loss, isolation can be a serious problem, caused by and exacerbating a sense of social isolation. That social separation can cause considerable changes to your disposition. So it can be an enormous advantage if your hearing aids can help you continue to be socially involved.
To be sure, this is connected to your hearing aids’ ability to decrease the risks of depression, for instance. All of these health issues, to a certain degree, are in some manner connected.
Hearing Aids And Physical Advantages
As your hearing impairment gets worse, there is some research that shows that you might be at a higher risk of having a stroke. But that specific research is undoubtedly in the preliminary stages. It’s a little easier to recognize the more obvious physical advantage of hearing aids: you won’t fall as often.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
- Situational awareness: Hearing aids can improve your situational awareness. For example, if your pet is running up to you, you will hear them and anticipate them racing around the corner.
- Fall detection: Many times, it’s getting back up after a fall that is the significant hazard, not the fall itself. Fall detection is a built-in feature of many newer hearing aid models. With specific settings equipped, when you take a tumble, a call will automatically be made to one of your pre-programmed emergency contacts so they know to check up on you.
Falling can have pretty substantial health impacts, particularly as you age. So avoiding falls (or reducing the damage from falls) can be a huge advantage that ripples throughout your overall health.
Wear Your Hearing Aids Everyday
These advantages, it’s worth pointing out, pertain to people who suffer from hearing impairment. If your hearing is healthy, then wearing a hearing aid will probably not reduce your risk of dementia, for example.
But wearing your hearing aids, if you do have hearing loss, is the smartest thing you can do for overall health.