Hearing aids could help about 28 million people. Needless to say, when we talk about statistics like that, we usually mean that those 28 million individuals would hear the world a little better if they had some help (in the form of a specialized device). But there are also a number of other, fairly unexpected health benefits that you can start to enjoy thanks to your hearing aids.
As it turns out, something as easy as using your hearing aids could help your physical and mental health. Everything from a risk of falling to depression can be slowed or even stopped by these gadgets. In more ways than one, your hearing aids can help you stay on your feet.
Mental Health Benefits of Hearing Aids
Modern medical research has solidly demonstrated a connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Currently, the thinking is that, for a mixture of mental, social, and physical factors, hearing loss can lead to an increased risk of mental illness, including cognitive decline, anxiety, depression, and dementia.
So it’s not surprising that the latest analyses has shown that hearing aids may have substantial mental health benefits.
Dementia Risks Decreased
Your chances of dementia can be reduced, as reported by one study, by nearly 20%. That’s a wonderful benefit when the only thing you need to do is remember to wear your hearing aids each day.
In other studies, the arrival of dementia was delayed by as much as two years by wearing hearing aids. Further research has to be conducted to help clarify and replicate these findings, but it’s certainly encouraging.
Decrease Depression And Anxiety
Lots of individuals suffer from anxiety and depression even if hearing loss is not a problem for them. But there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that people with hearing loss are at increased risk of developing both anxiety and depression as time passes.
Wearing your hearing aids can help keep you socially involved and mentally engaged. Hearing aids can be especially helpful if those factors are contributing to depression and anxiety.
You Won’t Feel as Lonely
While dementia might sound much more extreme, for people who have neglected hearing loss, loneliness can be a real issue, social isolation often being the cause and adding fuel to the fire. That social separation can cause significant changes to your mood. So it can be an enormous advantage if your hearing aids can help you continue to be socially active.
And this is an excellent reason why, for example, your hearing aid can help prevent conditions like depression. All of these health problems, to some extent, are in some manner linked.
The Physical Benefits of Hearing Aids
As your hearing impairment worsens, there is some evidence that you could be at a higher risk of having a stroke. But that particular research is obviously in the preliminary stages. It’s a little simpler to recognize the more obvious physical advantage of hearing aids: you won’t fall as much.
This occurs for two reasons:
- Fall detection: Frequently, it’s getting back up after a fall that is the significant danger, not the fall itself. Fall detection is a standard feature of many newer hearing aid models. You can save emergency phone numbers into your phone which will automatically be called if you take a tumble.
- Situational awareness: Hearing aids can improve your situational awareness. If your pet, for instance, is zooming out to greet you, you will be able to hear them coming and will be ready for them to be under your feet.
Falling can have pretty significant health effects, especially as you age. So avoiding falls (or reducing the damage from falls) can be a substantial benefit that ripples throughout your overall health.
Wear Your Hearing Aids Everyday
It’s worth keeping in mind that all of these benefits apply to people who suffer from hearing ailments. If your hearing is healthy, then using a hearing aid will most likely not reduce your risk of cognitive decline, for instance.
But wearing your hearing aids, if you do have hearing loss, is the smartest thing you can do for overall health.