The benefits of wearing a hearing aid
It’s May, which means it’s Better Speech and Hearing Month! This annual springtime event, designed to raise awareness about communication disorders, is the perfect time for those who experience problems with hearing or understanding to evaluate their needs, meet with an experienced audiologist, and explore treatment options—such as hearing aids—that can greatly improve their quality of life.
Hearing loss is a growing problem in the United States: the number people who report problems with hearing has doubled over the past 30 years. Over 11 percent of Americans live with this condition, yet studies show that it takes an average of 10 years for a person with hearing loss to pursue treatment options. The fact is that hearing aids are an investment, and take some getting used to—but the costs of neglecting hearing loss may be far greater. So what are some of the social, emotional, and medical benefits of wearing a hearing aid?
Medical Benefits of Hearing Aids
Just as untreated hearing loss affects one’s ability to communicate, it also affects the brain’s ability to remember common everyday sounds. When certain hearing channels and frequencies are no longer used, neural pathways begin to atrophy. Wearing a hearing aid can prevent the brain from ‘forgetting’ the sounds over time and becoming unable to understand them, by re-establishing these lost sound signals.
In a number of studies, wearing an aid has also been associated with decreased cognitive decline, especially in older adults with hearing loss. Improvements in mood, social interactions, and the ability to partake in mentally stimulating activities are thought to be the reason for this decrease in cognitive decline.
Another notable medical benefit of wearing an aid is a reduction of the symptoms of tinnitus, a common condition often associated with hearing loss, in which an individual hears buzzing or ringing in one or both ears. The loudness and prominence of tinnitus is reduced by the hearing aid’s ability to activate the auditory system, restore lost sound frequencies, and amplify background sound to effectively mask tinnitus symptoms.
Social and Emotional Benefits of treating hearing loss
Communication plays an important role in today’s society. When one loses the ability to effectively hear and understand others, increased feelings of isolation, depression, and social anxiety may be the unfortunate result. Hearing aids can restore one’s confidence in social settings and—perhaps more importantly—positively affect one’s relationships with friends and family members, by improving the ability to communicate without misunderstandings and to keep up with the subtle (but vital) nuances of conversation.
As workplace relationships and interactions also depend on clear communication, wearing an assistive hearing device can help to improve one’s chances of career success. On yet another level, modern hearing aids can have important benefits to the wearer in terms of personal safety, as they improve the ability to hear and spatially locate sounds that could be signals of danger.
Finally, hearing aids allow people to reconnect with activities they love, whether they be individual—such as listening to a favorite album at home, or social—such as attending a dinner party, concert, art opening, or other cultural event.
Improve your hearing this month
If you or someone you love is experiencing problems with hearing loss, why not seize the day and look into treatment options this May? The benefits are too important to ignore.
At Fidelity Hearing Center, we offer comprehensive audiology services in Cerritos, CA. Our practice is owned and operated by experienced audiologist, Dr. David DeKriek. At your consultation, you can expect professional care and sound recommendations.
Don’t leave your hearing health in the hands of just anyone. Call Dr. DeKriek today to schedule a consultation at Fidelity Hearing Center.