Boom Magazine Oct./Nov. Issue
Presented by Cynthia M. Peffers, ACA, BC-HIS
Despite the rapid growth of hearing loss — which is now the third most common health condition in the United States — there remains little national attention to good hearing and its long-term benefits.
Multiple studies confirm the importance of good hearing health in attaining whole body health — emotional and physical — as we age. The significant findings of these studies suggest that, just as there are routine standards for eye care and dentistry, hearing health care should also be routine.
Having your hearing checked regularly can help preserve gray matter within your brain, may reduce incidents of unexpected falls, and supports communication and emotional health. Good hearing also has numerous physical benefits that increase as a person ages.
In addition to its importance, most individuals remain unaware of the fact that their hearing may be compromised without notice. It is wrong to assume that if a change in hearing doesn’t bother you, then it doesn’t need to be treated. Many forms of hearing loss are subtle and may only involve difficulty in hearing certain sounds or with background noise.
The truth of the matter is that an experienced hearing professional can identify an unnoticed hearing issue relatively quickly and recommend effective treatment.
Treating Hearing Loss Can Help Alleviate Stress
The intensive listening effort caused by untreated hearing loss can be stressful. Experts believe that even if you have a mild hearing loss that is not being treated, cognitive load increases significantly.
Research shows that when left unaddressed, hearing loss is associated with other physical, mental and emotional health issues that diminish quality of life. Withdrawal from social situations, a lessened ability to cope, and reduced overall psychological health are just some of the conditions associated with unaddressed hearing loss. Often, people with untreated hearing loss feel angry, frustrated, anxious, isolated, and depressed.
A 2014 study showed that hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of depression in adults of all ages. Another study looked at working adults, 35 to 55 years old, with untreated mild to moderate age-related hearing loss and found that they were more prone to depression and interpersonal sensitivity than those without hearing problems.
The good news is that hearing aids can help the majority of people with hearing loss. Research shows that most people with hearing loss who use hearing aids improve their ability to communicate effectively.
When individuals with hearing loss use hearing aids, their depressive symptoms are often reduced. The majority of hearing aid users say they’re satisfied with the changes that have occurred in their lives and they feel better about themselves as a result of their hearing aids.
Getting a hearing test and using professionally fitted hearing aids are important ways individuals with hearing loss can ease the stress associated with intensive listening and safeguard their mental health and quality of life. To have your hearing tested at no charge, contact Creekside Hearing Aid Service at (707) 999-2877 and mention this article.
Make an appointment today to find out how you can attain better hearing and be on your way to whole body health!