It’s commonly suggested that we don’t fully appreciate the things we have until they’re gone, and this seems to be particularly true of our ability to hear. Hearing loss is not only difficult to detect; it’s also tough to appreciate just how much hearing improves our lives.
As one of our prime senses, along with vision, hearing impacts our mental, social, and physical health, so when we compromise our hearing, we put our overall health in jeopardy. But repairing our hearing can have several 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 good relationship is communication, and with hearing loss, that foundation is destabilized. Miscommunication, hard-feelings, and avoidance can all result from hearing loss and the barrier to communication it yields.
Hearing loss can be especially troublesome to a marriage, as Julie and Charlie Kraft had to find out the hard way.
For the majority 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 since the female voice is higher-pitched than the male voice, Charlie had a particularly tough time hearing his wife.
But seeing that Charlie wasn’t aware of his hearing loss, he thought his wife Julie just spoke too softly, which was aggravating for him. At the same time, Julie believed Charlie talked too loudly—not to mention that she constantly had to repeat herself—which was frustrating for her.
In this way, hearing loss yields a frustrating barrier to communication where both people harbor bad feelings towards one another.
In Charlie and Julie’s case, they had the sense to identify the hearing loss and to take action to correct it. After Charlie started wearing hearing aids, he no longer had to speak so loudly, 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 enhanced communication he had with his wife.
Julie concurred, and both conveyed how much healthier 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 carried out by Hear The World Foundation, which found that 21 percent of those interviewed stated that they exercised more after buying hearing aids. Additionally, 34 percent said they actively participate in sports at least once per week, and 69 percent believe that their hearing aids have a favorable effect on their general health.
Hearing loss can make communication challenging to the point where people tend to avoid the social gatherings and activities that they used to enjoy. With hearing aids, you can pursue these activities more confidently, 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) discovered a strong link between hearing loss and depression among US adults of all ages.
Evidently, the lack of sound stimulation to the brain with hearing loss produces several negative effects, ultimately causing an increased risk of depression, social isolation, and mental decline. But the good news is, studies have also shown that wearing hearing aids can reverse or prevent many of these issues.
How Has Better Hearing Improved YOUR Life?
Statistics are one thing; stories of actual people reaping the benefits of improved hearing are quite another.
If you wear 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 someone else to take the first steps toward better hearing.