Hearing aids could benefit approximately 28 million people. This means that 28 million people could here their world better if they had hearing aids. But your hearing aids can also help you take advantage of some other health benefits.
As it turns out, something as straight forward as wearing your hearing aids could be good for your physical and mental health. These little gadgets can help prevent (or delay) everything from depression to fall-induced-injury. Your hearing aids can literally keep you on your feet.
Hearing Aids And Mental Health Advantages
The connection between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline is pretty well demonstrated by modern medical studies. The current thinking is that, for a combination of social, mental, and physical reasons, hearing loss can trigger an escalated risk of mental illness, including anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and dementia.
So the mental health advantages of hearing aids shouldn’t be all that striking.
Dementia Risks Decreased
According to one study, wearing your hearing aids can help decrease your chances of developing dementia by up to 18%. And all you need to do to make the most of this amazing benefit is remember to wear your hearing every day.
In other research, the arrival of dementia was slowed by as much as two years by wearing hearing aids. Further research needs to be done to help explain and replicate these findings, but it’s definitely encouraging.
Anxiety And Depression Can be Decreased
Countless individuals suffer from depression and anxiety even if they don’t have hearing loss. But individuals who suffer from hearing loss have been shown to be at a higher risk of anxiety and depression over time.
When you have hearing aids, you tend 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 Won’t be as Lonely
While it may not sound as dire or imperative as dementia, loneliness can be a big issue for those with untreated hearing loss, caused by and exacerbating a sense of social solitude. That social separation can cause significant changes to your mood. So it can be a tremendous benefit if your hearing aids can help you continue to be socially active.
And this is a good reason why, for instance, your hearing aid can help counter conditions such as depression. All of these health concerns, to a certain degree, are in some way connected.
The Physical Advantages of Hearing Aids
As your hearing impairment worsens, there is some evidence that you may be at a higher risk of having a stroke. But that particular research is obviously on the preliminary side. It’s a little easier to recognize the more obvious physical benefit of hearing aids: you won’t fall as much.
There are a couple of explanations for this:
- Fall detection: In some cases, it’s not the fall that’s perilous. Rather, it’s your inability to get back up that can be a real problem. Many new models of hearing aids have fall detection built in. With certain settings equipped, when you have a fall, a call will immediately be made to one of your pre-programmed emergency contacts so they will know to check on you.
- Situational awareness:
Falling can have pretty substantial health impacts, especially as you age. So your overall health can be protected by reducing damage from falls or preventing them entirely.
Make Sure You Wear Your Hearing Aids
These advantages, it’s worth pointing out, pertain to individuals who suffer from hearing impairment. If you have healthy hearing, then using a hearing aid will likely not decrease your risk of cognitive decline, for instance.
But using your hearing aids, if you do have hearing loss, is the best thing you can do for general health.