Hearing loss impacts millions of people around the world. In fact, it’s estimated that 15% of American adults over 18 years old report some difficulty hearing. Raising awareness of hearing impairment is important. Equally important is raising awareness of the importance of hearing care around the world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) aims to do just this with their annual World Hearing Day. Celebrated on March 3rd, the day aims to promote hearing care and raise awareness on deafness and hearing loss. The theme for this year’s event is “Hearing for life: don’t let hearing loss limit you.”
Hearing loss affects many parts of life. The benefits of treating a hearing loss can truly be life-changing. In honor of World Hearing Day, we’re looking at 5 reasons you should seek treatment.
5 Benefits of Hearing Loss Treatment
Most of the time, we take our sense of hearing for granted. It’s not until our hearing is impaired that we appreciate how valuable it is. Aside from improved communication, there are further benefits to hearing loss treatment. These include:
- Prevent mental decline: Researchers at Johns Hopkins have been investigating the link between hearing loss and mental / cognitive decline. One study found that people with hearing loss were 24% more likely to go on to develop Alzheimers. In another study, researchers found that the worse a person’s hearing loss, the more likely they were to develop dementia. While more research is still needed, researchers are seeing the positive impact that treating a hearing loss has on preventing mental decline.
- Help track your overall physical health: Our ears are sophisticated organs. A delicate network of blood vessels and nerves. These work together to deliver oxygen rich blood to our hearing system. A number of underlying health conditions can disrupt this sensitive system, including cardiovascular problems or diabetes. Impaired hearing can actually be a symptom of an underlying health problem. It’s just one more reason to stay on top of your annual hearing assessments.
- Improve social relationships: With hearing loss, your brain has to work overtime to process the sounds around you. In social settings, this can make it difficult to follow the conversation. As a result, people with untreated hearing loss may avoid going out rather than deal with the stress. Unfortunately, this can have further negative repercussions, and lead to social isolation or depression. Treating the hearing loss can improve confidence and encourage further social interactions. It’s a win-win.
- Keep your brain sharp: Your brain, like any muscle, needs exercise to stay sharp. The varied sounds we encounter throughout the day actually give our brains a good workout! Treating hearing loss can help keep your brain sharp.
- Improve your safety: Many sounds are designed to alert or warn us. Burglar alarms, smoke detectors, emergency sirens and doorbells are all examples of sounds designed to alert or warn us. Impaired hearing can make hearing these sounds difficult, which can pose a safety risk. Keeping your hearing sharp can help improve your safety also.
Protecting your hearing will help to maintain your hearing ability. These hearing protection tips should be part of your normal hearing care:
- Use hearing protection wherever necessary.
- Take regular quiet breaks from noisy environments.
- Take care when listening to music. Invest in noise cancelling over the ear headphones rather than in ear buds. Follow the 60/60 rule for music listening. Listen at 60% of the maximum volume and for no longer than 60 minutes before taking a 5-10 minute break.
- Stay fit and healthy, follow a healthy eating plan and exercise regularly.
- Have regular hearing assessments and use your hearing aid if you have one.
Accepting hearing loss can be difficult. It’s important to understand that the benefits of treatment extend beyond communication! If you’d like to book in a hearing assessment, please get in touch with the hearing specialists at Come Hear Hearing Center. Call (864) 546-5708 today, or click here to book an appointment online.
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