Hearing loss is a widespread health problem that impacted almost 1.4 billion people globally in 2017, accounting for 18.7% of the global population. However, despite the general prevalence of hearing loss, only a small percentage of those who require hearing aids use them.
Hearing, like vision, is one of our primary senses, and it has an impact on our mental, social, and physical health. When we compromise our hearing, we jeopardize our overall health. Improving our sense of hearing using hearing aids has many possible health benefits that we don’t talk about enough.
Studies conducted almost a decade ago show that hearing aids increase the general quality of life, and more such research are underway. Experts argue that because hearing loss is significantly easier to treat than many of the issues it might cause, this is fantastic news for public health.
Here are the top five advantages of wearing hearing aids to correct hearing loss for those who are still undecided.
1. Lower Risk of Cognitive Decline
Our brain cells become less capable of connecting to each other as we age, a process known as “brain atrophy” or just “cognitive decline”. And hearing loss increases your risk of getting a cognitive decline.
This condition happens because when a person’s hearing loss is left untreated, the parts of their brain that deal with speech recognition can deteriorate.
As a result, your chance of cognitive impairment increases over time, and your capacity to understand those around you will decline. Even if you are still young, it can raise your chances of cognitive deterioration as you age. Using assistance, though, you can slow down the process.
Various studies have associated untreated hearing loss with an increased risk of dementia and decreased cognitive function. Those who do not use hearing aids to correct hearing loss appear to be suffering the most. Thus, by wearing hearing aids, you can reduce your chances of cognitive decline.
2. Reduces Vulnerability to Mental Health Issues
There’s a lot of evidence linking hearing loss with depression. According to a study conducted in 2009, among people under the age of 70, each decline in incremental hearing ability (signal-to-noise ratio; SNR) increased the risk of getting depression by 5%.
A possible reason might be the lack of social confidence that results when you develop hearing problems. Conversations take a lot of effort when you can’t hear things properly, and therefore people stop trying.
Another reason might be that hearing loss may cause our brains to send weaker auditory signals, forcing our brains to work harder to process sounds, resulting in a loss of function in other processes.
Our neuronal networks, particularly those that regulate depression symptoms, may remodel, causing our brain to modify how it functions.
Considering these impressions, we can safely say that an ear machine might help you tackle your mental health issues.
3. Reduces Annoyance Related to Tinnitus
Hearing aids have two benefits in tinnitus sufferers, according to clinical evidence:
- Patients are less conscious of the condition.
- They facilitate better communication by lowering the annoying sense that the tinnitus masks sounds and voices.
Hearing loss diminishes external sound stimulation, increasing tinnitus awareness. The depletion of input may alter the function of auditory pathway structures.
The auditory input loss induces the expression of neuronal plasticity, which frequently produces tinnitus. External sounds may also cause the expression of neuronal plasticity that can restore auditory function. This external stimulation can result in a long-term therapeutic effect on tinnitus.
4. More Energy/Less Fatigue
All our sensory activities, including our ability to hear, understand and speak, are dependent on our brain. The inner ear’s sensory hair cells transform the sounds collected by the outer ear into electrical signals, sending them to the brain via the auditory nerve.
The brain needs to work harder to make sense of the information it receives from the inner ear when hearing loss occurs, which can be mentally tiring.
When there is a correct use of hearing aids, it improves listening and speech comprehension and reduces listening fatigue.
5. Lessens the Risk of Harm Due to Loss of Balance
Research at John Hopkins University found that people with mild hearing loss were more likely to lose balance and fall. Additionally, if hearing loss increases, it also proportionally raises their risk of falling.
There are two possible reasons behind this connection. When people can’t hear well, they will be less aware of their surroundings, which increases their chances of tripping and falling. Another issue is that if the brain becomes overburdened coping with hearing loss, it may not pay as much attention to gait and balance, both of which require cognitive focus.
Hence, wearing an ear machine reduces your chances of falling and bringing yourself to harm.
To conclude, hearing aids have several benefits in addition to handling hearing loss. Therefore, it is advisable to opt for them.
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