It’s May, which means flowers are in bloom and birds are singing louder than usual. Can you hear them? It’s also Better Speech and Hearing Month, which is the perfect time to empower yourself by learning more about hearing loss, as well as the numerous benefits of hearing loss treatment!
For the month of May, the American-Speech-Language-Hearing-Association (ASHA) and other organizations will be putting all of their focus and energy into raising awareness about treating hearing loss, including communication strategies, the importance of treatment, and helpful hearing loss prevention tips.
For 2018, the theme is “Communication for All”, and ASHA has many resources to help you celebrate all month long. For a look at this month’s special events and highlights, check out ASHA’s website here. With the theme “Communication for All” in mind, ASHA is leading a public education campaign on the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss in children, safety for older people with hearing loss, and hearing loss issues adults might face, among other topics.
In honor of this important month, here are ten ways that hearing aids can boost your happiness and quality of life.
- Easier communication. Let’s start with the most obvious, and perhaps most important benefit of hearing aids. They enable you to connect with the people in your life, from acquaintances and coworkers to those closest to you. Office chit-chat, funny dinner party stories, deep late-night talks with a loved one–all conversations are essential in their own way.
- Improved cognitive health. It’s true! Research shows that while untreated hearing loss accelerates cognitive decline, treating it actually delays the onset of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. And when it comes to hearing loss and the brain, the earlier the treatment, the better.
- Increased personal safety. Our ears keep us safe in a number of ways, from alerting us to a car coming around a corner to letting us know that the oven timer is beeping. Hearing aids have been proven to increase personal safety both at home and out of doors, even reducing the risk of falls and other accidents.
- Better mobility. Studies show that people who actively treat their hearing loss venture farther away from their homes more frequently than those with untreated loss. This is especially true for seniors, who may have other limitations to their mobility such as joint pain. Mobility is crucial–not only in terms of staying fit, but also in regard to overall quality of life. And something as important as the ability to move around freely should not be limited by hearing loss.
- A fuller sound picture. The diminished auditory background that results from damaged hearing means that people miss out on sounds like the chirping of birds, rain falling on the roof or the rustling of the wind. These sounds–even the buzzing of a fridge–help us to connect with and enjoy the world around us, and without them, life can seem eerily quiet. Treating hearing loss is not just about conversations; the soundtrack playing in the background is also essential.
- Enhanced enjoyment of activities. People with untreated hearing loss, especially loss that is severe, tend to withdraw from the social events, sports, and hobbies they once loved. Hearing aids make it possible to re-engage with those activities that make life fun and help to define a person.
- Improved psychological well-being. The psychological side effects of untreated hearing loss are well known: increased stress, anxiety and isolation, sometimes leading to serious depression. Being able to hear and communicate again can restore mental well-being and has been shown to increase contentment and happiness.
- Healthier relationships. Being the loved one of a person with untreated hearing loss can be a lonely thing. Often the hearing partner bears the burden of helping the hard-of-hearing partner understand what is being said to them, while suffering the loneliness of not being able to communicate and enjoy activities with the person they love most. Treating hearing loss can help to repair the bonds in a relationship and restore those all-important channels of communication.
- Relief from tinnitus. Tinnitus, a buzzing or ringing heard in one or both ears, is strongly associated with hearing loss. Simply treating hearing loss can reduce the annoyance of this troublesome condition, and if more relief is needed, many hearing aids come with advanced tinnitus treatment programs.
- Improved performance at work. “Persons with hearing loss may misunderstand what is being said,” ASHA says. “It may appear as if they are ignoring a supervisor’s or customer’s request and may result in poor work performance.” Being able to hear coworkers, managers, and background noises is essential in the workplace, not only for performing your job well, but also for keeping yourself and those around you safe.
Visit Us at Comprehensive Ear and Hearing
Here at Comprehensive Ear and Hearing, we love making a difference in people’s lives by helping them hear. Whether you need a hearing instrument, an Assistive Listening Device, educational material, family communication strategies, or hearing support of any kind, we will strive to make sure your needs are met. We’d love to help you take the first step towards better hearing–schedule your comprehensive hearing exam today!