6 Ways Hearing Aids Improves Mental Health
If you are hesitant about getting hearing aids to treat your hearing loss, consider the fact that hearing loss affects more than just your ears. Overall health is about both our body and mind, and hearing loss can also have a significant impact on your mental well-being. Here are 6 ways that hearing aids can improve your mental health and overall quality of life.
1.Hearing aids can reduce the risks of cognitive decline
As we age, our bodies start to slow down and so does our cognition. This is why it’s important to take care of our brain health as much as possible as we grow older. According to Harvard Medical School, using hearing aids can improve brain function in older adults with hearing loss . Hearing loss is linked to interference with cognitive abilities because a lot of brainpower is used towards understanding speech. So, not only do hearing aids help with improving our hearing, it can also restore lost brain function.
A 25-year study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that individuals who had hearing loss and chose not to wear hearing aids showed high levels of cognitive decline compared to those with hearing loss who chose to wear hearing aids. Those who opted for hearing aids were able to demonstrate cognitive skills that equalled their normal-hearing counterparts.
As well, according to a study at the University of Pennsylvania, untreated hearing loss can accelerate atrophy in the auditory areas of the brain. This causes speech understanding to become more difficult and also increases the cognitive strain. Any decreases in your cognitive capacity are directly linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Hearing aids can lower levels of depression
In a survey of over 4000 people, the National Council on Hearing found that most people with hearing loss that wore hearing aids did not perceive themselves as being depressed compared to those that didn’t wear any hearing devices at all.
Depression and hearing loss are related, as hearing loss can cause the breakdown of relationships because it makes it difficult to hold conversations with your family and friends. Not feeling socially connected with others can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.
This study found that the people who wore hearing aids reported improvements in their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being. They were also more socially active, and they felt they had more control over their lives.
Hearing aids can improve memory and mental acuity
Hearing aids help stabilize your cognitive functions, and that includes your memory. In a study conducted by Texas A&M University, they found that after only six weeks of wearing hearing aids, participants started to show improvements in their brain performance in every area.
The hearing loss participants in the study were tested by measuring their memory, ability to focus, and their mental sharpness before and after wearing hearing aids. The results not only showed there was an improvement in cognitive function, but the participants were also able to process information faster.
Wearing hearing aids can reduce stress
Being able to hear the full spectrum of sounds is good for our health. People who suffer from hearing loss often report that they have not heard any soft sounds like birds chirping or waves by a river or the ocean in a long time.
Wearing hearing aids means that you will get to hear all kinds of sounds again, including the relaxing sounds of nature that can help you relieve stress.
- Hearing aids improve your social life
Most individuals with untreated hearing loss will often avoid social situations and interactions because they have trouble keeping up with conversations, which can cause embarrassment. Some couples or family members begin to speak to each other less and less. This is a common experience for those suffering from early signs of hearing loss, and it can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.
Research shows that positive and active social relationships positively impact your health. Once individuals start wearing hearing aids, they’re pleased with the fact that they can now join the conversation again.
Hearing aids can help treat tinnitus
Tinnitus sufferers understand the ringing, buzzing, and hissing that characterizes a condition that some can adapt to. For others, however, tinnitus can lead to difficulty concentrating, insomnia, poor work performance, irritability, anxiety, and depression.
Most modern hearing aid models will be equipped with tinnitus sound therapy programs built in. Considering that most people with tinnitus also tend to have hearing loss, hearing aids are a great option to get more bang for your buck.
For more information about hearing aids and how they can improve your mental health, call Hearing Solutions at 1-888-811-9799 or contact us online here.
- Amieva, H., Ouvrard, C., Giulioli, C., Meillon, C., Rullier, L., & Dartigues, J.-F. (2015, October 20). “Self‐Reported Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids, and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Adults: A 25‐Year Study.” American Geriatrics Society. https://agsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jgs.13649
- Seelisch, A. (2017, October 17) “6 Ways Hearing Aids Can Improve Your Mental Health.” Hearing Solutions https://www.hearingsolutions.ca/6-ways-hearing-aids-can-improve-your-mental-health/
- Desjardins, J. (2015) “UTEP Professor Shows That Hearing Aids Improve Memory, Speech.” The University of Texas at El Paso. http://news.utep.edu/utep-professor-shows-that-hearing-aids-improve-memory-speech/