6 Ways Hearing Aids Can Improve Your Mental Health
If you’re hesitant about wearing hearing aids to treat your hearing loss, the alternative could affect more than just your physical wellness. Since health is about the mind as well as the body, hearing loss can negatively impact your mental wellbeing.
Here are 5 ways hearing aids can improve your mental health
1. Hearing aids have been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline
A 25-year study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that people who had hearing loss and chose not to wear hearing aids showed a significant cognitive decline.
On the other hand, people who had hearing loss and wore hearing aids demonstrated cognitive skills that equalled their normal-hearing counterparts.
According to a study at the University of Pennsylvania, untreated hearing loss can accelerate atrophy in the auditory areas of the brain. A fact that can make speech understanding more difficult and that increases cognitive strain.
Decreases in your cognitive capacity are linked to Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
2. People with hearing loss report lower levels of depression
When The National Council on Hearing surveyed over 4000 people they found that most people with hearing loss that wore hearing aids didn’t perceive themselves as being depressed compared to the people that didn’t wear any hearing instruments at all.
The study also found that the people that wore hearing aids reported improvements in their physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing. They were also more socially active and felt they had more control over their lives.
3. Hearing aids improve your memory and mental acuity
A study at Texas A&M University found that after only six weeks of wearing hearing aids, participants showed improvements in their brain performance in all areas.
The study’s participants tested people with hearing loss by measuring their memory, ability to focus, and their mental sharpness before and after wearing hearing aids.
Not only was there an improvement in cognitive function, but the participants could process information faster.
4. Hearing aids help you enjoy sounds that may help you relieve stress
Enjoying a full spectrum of sound is good for our health.
People with hearing loss often report that they haven’t heard soft sounds like birds chirping, the sound of waves by a river, lake or ocean in a long time.
Wearing hearing aids to treat your hearing loss means you’ll probably start hearing all kinds of sounds, including the sounds of nature, that are considered relaxing and relieve stress.
5. Hearing aids can improve your social life
Many people with untreated hearing loss often avoid social interactions because they have trouble keeping up with conversations. Some couples start speaking to each other less and less. It’s a common experience that can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.
Research shows that positive, active social relationships positively impact your health. After people start wearing hearing aids, they’re often pleased with the fact that they can now join the conversation again.
6. Hearing aids can be used to help treat the annoying sounds of tinnitus
Tinnitus sufferers know the ringing, buzzing and hissing that characterises a condition that many can adapt to, while for others it can lead to insomnia, difficulty concentrating, poor work performance, irritability, anxiety and depression.
Modern hearing aid models are now equipped with tinnitus sound therapy programs built right in the devices. Considering that most people with tinnitus also have hearing loss, this is can be a great option to kill two birds with one stone.
Hearing for life
Better hearing is part of a healthy lifestyle. If you’ve been on the fence about treating your hearing loss, consider all the positive benefits. Do they outweigh the negative perceptions you have of hearing aids?
Speak to your local hearing healthcare professional to find out more about how hearing aids can improve your quality of life.