If you suspect or know you have hearing loss but haven’t been fitted with hearing aids, you’re not alone. Of the 28.8 million adults in the United States who could benefit from hearing aids, only 30 percent of those 70 and older have tried them. Only 16 percent of people between the ages of 20 and 69 with hearing loss has ever used hearing aids.
People struggle an average of 10 years with hearing loss before getting hearing aids. Why the waiting game? Some people believe their hearing loss is too mild to warrant hearing aids. Others assume their hearing loss is too severe to be helped by hearing aids. In truth, today’s digital hearing aids can bring help to people with a wide range of hearing loss. Whatever your reasons for procrastinating, getting past them and seeing a good audiologist can yield many benefits.
Getting Hearing Aids Can Stave Off Dementia
In 2013, Johns Hopkins University researchers published the results of a study of 2,000 adults age 77 and older who were tracked to see how their brain function changed with time. After 6 years, the subjects who had significant hearing loss at the start of the study were 24 percent more likely to demonstrate a decline in cognitive function.
On the more positive side of the coin, you can guess that by correcting hearing loss you can stave off dementia and other cognitive decline. This hypothesis was borne out in a recent French study that focused on 94 people, age 65 to 85, with profound hearing loss.
At the start of the study, each participant was tested to gauge their cognitive function. They then received a cochlear implant and regular auditory rehabilitation. A year later, it was found that 80 percent of the subjects who had earned the lowest cognitive scores showed marked improvement.
Hearing Aids Can Improve Your Social, Emotional Wellbeing
At Echo Hearing Center, we believe getting fitted with hearing aids can improve your social and emotional life as well as your physical health.
When you can’t hear, it hampers your ability to communicate with people around you, including those you love most. Frustration and misunderstandings can easily rise, creating stress and conflict.
The resulting isolation is exacerbated by the fact that people with untreated hearing loss begin to avoid certain social situations like dinner parties, movies, concerts and crowded venues with public speakers. It can feel exhausting, embarrassing and even pointless straining to make out what’s being said while pretending you’re following along.
Luckily, new technology has made hearing aids more helpful than ever when it comes to tasks like amplifying speech, determining where sound is coming from and filtering out unimportant noise. With improved hearing, it’s certain you will enjoy:
- Better interpersonal communication
- Greater closeness among family members.
- A healthier sense of confidence and control
- An improved sense of emotional stability
Hearing Aids Can Ward Off Further Hearing Loss
Wearing hearing aids can also keep hearing loss from worsening. When you can’t hear the sounds around you, the auditory processing parts of your brain begin to atrophy over time. This process can lessen your ability to comprehend speech, even after you begin wearing hearing aids. Avoiding this shrinkage is one more reason to start caring for your hearing health.
Along with carrying a wide selection of high-quality hearing aids, Echo Hearing Cente offers a full array of services including:
- Aural rehabilitation therapy
- Comprehensive hearing and speech perception evaluations
- Hearing aid fitting
- Tinnitus evaluations and consultations
- Fittings for swim plugs, earmolds and hearing protectors
So many of our patients say the same thing. “I wish I had gotten hearing aids sooner!” If you’re ready to get over your avoidance and back to hearing, our team of audiologists is ready to assist you. Contact us today to make an appointment.