An estimated 28 million people could be helped by using hearing aids. Of course, when we discuss statistics like that, we usually mean that those 28 million people would hear the world a little more clearly if they had some help (in the form of a specialized device). But there are also certain other, relatively surprising health advantages that you can begin to take advantage of thanks to your hearing aids.
It turns out that something as straight forward as wearing your hearing aids could be good for your physical and mental health. These little devices can help counter (or delay) everything from depression to fall-induced-injury. Your hearing aids can literally help you stay on your feet.
Mental Health Advantages of Hearing Aids
Modern medical research has firmly established a link between cognitive decline and hearing loss. Mental illnesses including dementia, cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression, in line with current thinking, can be triggered by hearing loss due to a mix of physical, mental and social factors.
So it’s not surprising that the latest analyses has shown that hearing aids could have considerable mental health advantages.
Dementia Risks Reduced
According to one study, wearing your hearing aids can help lower your risk of developing dementia by as much as 18%. And all you need to do to take advantage of this awesome advantage is remember to wear your hearing every day.
In other studies, the onset of dementia was slowed by as much as two years by using hearing aids. Further research has to be carried out to help clarify and duplicate these results, but it’s certainly encouraging.
Decrease Depression And Anxiety
Depression and anxiety aren’t symptoms that are unique to people who have hearing loss. But people with hearing loss have been shown to have a higher risk of depression and anxiety over time.
When you use hearing aids, you are likely to stay more tuned in mentally and engaged socially. Hearing aids can be especially helpful if those factors are contributing to depression and anxiety.
You’ll Feel Less Lonely
While it may not sound as dire or imperative as dementia, isolation can be a serious issue for individuals with untreated hearing loss, social solitude often being the cause and adding fuel to the fire. Your overall mood can be dramatically affected by social isolation. So being able to continue to be social and engaged with help from your hearing aid can be a big advantage.
And this is a good reason why, for instance, your hearing aid can help prevent conditions like depression. To some degree, all of these health conditions connect in some way.
The Physical Advantages of Hearing Aids
There’s some evidence which indicates that as hearing loss symptoms become more noticeable, your risk of stroke goes up. But these studies are in preliminary stages. It’s a little simpler to recognize the more obvious physical advantage of hearing aids: you won’t fall as much.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
- Situational awareness: If your pet, for instance, is zooming out to greet you, you will hear them coming and will be ready for them to be under your feet.
- Fall detection: Frequently, it’s getting back up after a fall that is the significant hazard, not the fall itself. Fall detection is a standard feature of many newer hearing aid models. You can program emergency phone numbers into your phone which will be automatically called if you take a tumble.
As you age falling down can have a devastating effect on your health. So your overall health can be protected by reducing damage from falls or avoiding them entirely.
Wear Your Hearing Aids Everyday
It’s worth keeping in mind that all of these advantages apply to individuals who have hearing ailments. If your hearing is healthy, then wearing a hearing aid will probably not decrease your risk of cognitive decline, for example.
But using your hearing aids, if you do have hearing loss, is the smartest thing you can do for overall health.