It’s often said that we don’t truly appreciate the things we have until they’re gone, and this appears to be especially 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 major senses, along with vision, hearing impacts our mental, social, and physical health, so when we lose our hearing, we put our overall welfare in jeopardy. But repairing our hearing can have many health benefits that we never really stop to think about.
Here are three ways improving your hearing can elevate your social, mental, and physical health.
Hearing and Relationships
The foundation of any healthy relationship is communication, and with hearing loss, that foundation is destabilized. Miscommunication, hard-feelings, and avoidance can all result from hearing loss and the obstacle to communication it generates.
Hearing loss can be especially 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 an especially difficult time hearing his wife.
But seeing that Charlie wasn’t conscious of his hearing loss, he believed his wife Julie simply talked too quietly, which was frustrating for him. At the same time, Julie believed Charlie talked too loudly—not to mention that she constantly had to repeat herself—which was aggravating for her.
In this manner, hearing loss renders a frustrating barrier to communication where both parties harbor bad feelings towards one another.
In Charlie and Julie’s example, they had the awareness to recognize the hearing loss and to take action to correct it. After Charlie began wearing hearing aids, he no longer had to talk so loudly, and he began hearing new sounds, like the sounds of birds on the golf course. But the one perk he reported he cherished the most was the enhanced communication he had with his wife.
Julie agreed, and both expressed how much healthier their relationship is without the weight 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 directed by Hear The World Foundation, which discovered that 21 percent of those interviewed stated that they exercised more after buying hearing aids. In addition, 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 overall health.
Hearing loss can make communication difficult to the point where people are inclined to avoid the social gatherings and activities that they used to love. With hearing aids, you can pursue these activities more confidently, leading to more exercise and better 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, leading to 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 problems.
How Has Better Hearing Improved YOUR Life?
Statistics are one thing; stories of real 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 others to take the first steps toward better hearing.