Something like 28 million people could benefit from wearing hearing aids. Of course, when we talk about statistics like that, we normally mean that those 28 million individuals would hear their surroundings a little more clearly if they had some help (in the form of a specialized device). But your hearing aids can also help you take advantage of some other health benefits.
Your mental and physical health can, as it so happens, be improved by something as easy as using hearing aids. These little devices can help prevent (or delay) everything from injury from a fall to depression. Your hearing aids can literally help you stay on your feet.
Mental Health Benefits of Hearing Aids
The link between neglected hearing loss and cognitive decline is pretty well established by modern medical studies. Mental illnesses including dementia, cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression, in line with current thinking, can be induced by hearing loss due to a mix of mental, physical and social factors.
So the mental health advantages of hearing aids shouldn’t be all that unexpected.
Dementia Risks Reduced
Based on one study, wearing your hearing aids can help lower your risk of developing dementia by as much as 18%. That’s a wonderful benefit when all you have to do is remember to wear your hearing aids each day.
In other research, the arrival of dementia was slowed by as much as two years by using hearing aids. Further research has to be conducted to help clarify and replicate these results, but it’s definitely encouraging.
Reduce Depression And Anxiety
Depression and anxiety aren’t symptoms that are exclusive to people who suffer from hearing loss. But there is plenty of evidence to suggest that those with hearing loss are at increased risk of developing both depression and anxiety as time passes.
When you have hearing aids, you are likely to stay more mentally focused and engaged socially. If those were contributing factors to depression and anxiety, they can help.
You Won’t Feel as Lonely
While it might not seem as dire or imperative as dementia, solitude can be a big issue for those who suffer from neglected hearing loss, social solitude often being the cause and worsening symptoms. Your general mood can be significantly influenced by social isolation. So it can be a tremendous benefit if your hearing aids can help you remain socially involved.
To be sure, this is connected to your hearing aids’ ability to reduce the risks of depression, for example. To some degree, all of these health concerns connect in some way.
The Physical Advantages of Hearing Aids
There is some evidence which suggests that as hearing loss symptoms become more noticeable, your risk of stroke goes up. But these studies are in preliminary phases. It’s a little easier to recognize the more obvious physical advantage of hearing aids: you’ll fall less often.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
- Fall detection: Sometimes, it’s not the fall that’s perilous. Rather, it’s that you can’t get back up that can be a real problem. Fall detection is a built-in feature of many newer hearing aid designs. You can save emergency phone numbers into your phone which will automatically be called if you take a tumble.
- Situational awareness: With hearing aids, your situational awareness will be enhanced allowing you to steer clear of obstacles and avoid falling. For instance, if your pet is running to greet you, you will hear them and expect them to come rushing around the corner.
Falling can have very significant health effects, particularly as you get older. So preventing falls (or decreasing the damage from falling) can be a substantial benefit that ripples throughout your general health.
Wear Your Hearing Aids Everyday
These benefits, it’s worth mentioning, pertain to people who suffer from hearing impairment. If you have healthy hearing, then wearing a hearing aid will likely not reduce your risk of dementia, for instance.
But if you do suffer from hearing loss, the best thing you can do for your ears, and for the rest of your body, is to use your hearing aids.