Hearing loss is a widespread condition, affecting more than 48 million Americans. Even though it is the third most common physical condition for Americans, only about 20 percent seek treatment. But hearing aids can do a lot more than simply improve your ability to hear; they can increase your quality of life through the following three ways.
According to researchers at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, untreated hearing loss can play a role in your balance. They found that with every increase of 10 decibels of hearing loss, the odds of falling increased by 1.4x.
Experts suspect this is related to the added brainpower required to function with hearing loss. Your brain is working harder to pick up additional audio cues in order to make sense of the world. This takes mental resources away from other activities.
Untreated hearing loss has been linked with increased feelings of depression and anxiety. A 2014 study of more than 18,000 adults between 2005-2010 found that 11.4% of those with self-reported hearing loss experienced moderate to severe depression, and 19.1% suffered from mild depressive symptoms.
This link is attributed to social activities. Those with untreated hearing loss often withdraw and stop attending social events or spending time with large groups of people. As Dr. Jackie Clarke, an audiologist and clinical professor of audiology at the University of Texas at Dallas puts it, “solation leads to loneliness — which leads to depression.”
Communication is a key component of any good relationship. One survey conducted in the U.K. talked to 1,500 people with hearing loss over the age of 55. They found that:
- 44% reported their relationships suffered because they could not hear
- 34% lost touch with friends because of a breakdown in communication
- 52% felt left out and ignored in social situations
Untreated hearing loss can make carrying on conversations difficult and places a lot of the burden on those you love, which can eventually destroy the relationships you’ve spent years building.
Fortunately, treating your hearing loss with the use of hearing aids can help you see improvements in all aspects of life.
To learn more about improving your quality of life through the use of hearing aids or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, contact the experts at Audiology Center Northwest.