Investing in yourself is one of the greatest investments you can make. Whether it’s investing in studying a new skill, personal or vocational development or getting involved with creative pursuits, you have to invest in yourself before you can invest in others.
Physical health is one great area in which to start, and one often-overlooked part of that is your hearing health. Hearing loss is one of the most widespread conditions in America that affects adults and is the most common condition afflicting older adults. There are an estimated 48 million people living in the US with hearing loss that adversely impacts their quality of life.
Those with hearing loss often don’t know what they are missing. Social contact, interaction with other human beings is a large part of what makes us human. When this is lost, it comes at a very high price. By treating hearing loss, we can begin to retain the benefits of the gift of hearing for years to come.
Here are some of the returns that investing in your hearing can provide.
Increased earning power
In a 2011, research by the Better Hearing Institute, an average loss of $30,000 in earnings per annum was recorded in those with hearing loss. This loss of earnings was usually the result of adverse effects on the worker’s productivity, efficiency, and subsequent career success. Those who had serious hearing loss were also twice as susceptible as those with ordinary hearing to be unemployed, and almost twice as likely to be unemployed as their counterparts who were using hearing aids.
The last piece of information you just read is important. Wearing hearing aids can almost completely mitigate the negative effects of hearing loss on work earnings and employment prospects. This means that those with hearing loss need not be condemned to earn less than their hearing peers.
More happiness for you and your family
In a large study by the National Council on the Ageing, study participants who had hearing aids were, on average, more socially active and less susceptible to depression, worry, paranoia or insecurity. These benefits were noticed more by their family than themselves!
Although this study was published in 1999, experts say that little has changed since.
Those with hearing loss often don’t understand how distressing it is for their families, who usually report that because of communication and misunderstandings they often feel frustrated, irritated and sad. Treating hearing loss can improve not just the hearing of the individual, but the day-to-day relationships they have with their family, friends and loved ones.
Better cognitive health
The earlier you get help with your hearing impairment, the easier it will be for your brain to use the auditory pathways it has created for sound processing.
Dr Frank R. Lin from the Johns Hopkins Center for Aging and Health conducted a study in 2013 which investigated 1,984 older adults. He found a direct correlation between the severity of an individual’s hearing loss and the severity of cognitive decline.
However, according to recent research by a team at the University of Manchester in the UK, treating hearing loss with a hearing aid can shrink the development of dementia by up to 75 percent. The team followed progress made by 2,040 people between 1996 and 2014, requesting word memory exams to be completed at different phases and the rate of decrease be monitored before and after the use of any hearing aid. While the devices did not stop or reverse cognitive decrease, the study team discovered that they delayed cognitive decline by an average of 75%.
It’s time to get involved in your health and treat your hearing loss, if you’ve noticed difficulties hearing. Research shows you’ll be more socially active, find it easier to maintain close relationships, and improve your quality of life. The first step is to have your hearing tested. To schedule an appointment, contact our team at Dr. Hear. Any hearing loss can be helped with the use of hearing aids. We will work with you to find a device which suits your hearing needs, lifestyle and budget.