It’s commonly said that we don’t completely appreciate the things we have until they’re gone, and this appears to be particularly true of our ability to hear. Hearing loss is not only difficult to detect; it’s also hard to appreciate just how much hearing enhances our lives.
As one of our main senses, along with vision, hearing impacts our mental, social, and physical health, so when we compromise our hearing, we put our overall well-being in jeopardy. But restoring our hearing can have many health benefits that we never really give much thought to.
Here are three ways improving your hearing can improve your social, mental, and physical health.
Hearing and Relationships
The foundation of any healthy relationship is communication, and with hearing loss, that foundation is compromised. Miscommunication, hard-feelings, and avoidance can all result from hearing loss and the barrier to communication it yields.
Hearing loss can be particularly troublesome to a marriage, as Julie and Charlie Kraft had to find out the hard way.
For most of Charlie’s adult life, he has had a common form of hearing loss known as high-frequency hearing loss, in which he has trouble hearing high-pitched sounds. And because the female voice is higher-pitched than the male voice, Charlie had a particularly hard time hearing his wife.
But seeing that Charlie wasn’t conscious of his hearing loss, he believed his wife Julie simply talked too softly, which was aggravating for him. At the same time, Julie thought Charlie talked too loudly—not to mention that she constantly had to repeat herself—which was frustrating for her.
In this way, hearing loss creates a frustrating barrier to communication where both parties harbor bad feelings towards each other.
In Charlie and Julie’s case, they had the awareness to recognize the hearing loss and to take action to deal with it. After Charlie started wearing hearing aids, he no longer had to talk so loud, and he began hearing new sounds, like the sounds of birds on the golf course. But the one perk he claimed he cherished the most was the improved communication he had with his wife.
Julie concurred, and both conveyed how much stronger their relationship is without the stress of hearing loss.
Hearing and Physical Health
Does using hearing aids tend to make you more active?
The answer is yes, according to a survey performed by Hear The World Foundation, which revealed that 21 percent of those interviewed stated that they exercised more after acquiring hearing aids. Additionally, 34 percent said they regularly take part in sports at least once per week, and 69 percent believe that their hearing aids have a favorable effect on their overall health.
Hearing loss can make communication difficult to the point where people tend to avoid the social events and activities that they used to enjoy. With hearing aids, you can pursue these activities with confidence, resulting in more exercise and improved physical health.
Hearing and Mental Health
In a recent study, researchers from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) found a strong connection between hearing loss and depression among US adults of all ages.
Clearly, the lack of sound stimulation to the brain with hearing loss produces several negative effects, leading to an increased risk of depression, social isolation, and mental decline. But the good news is, studies have also shown that using hearing aids can reverse or prevent many of these problems.
How Has Better Hearing Improved YOUR Life?
Statistics are one thing; stories of real people reaping the benefits of better hearing are quite another.
If you use hearing aids, let us know in a comment below how your life, relationships, and/or physical or mental health has improved! You may find yourself inspiring others to take the first steps toward better hearing.