It’s commonly said that we don’t completely appreciate the things we have until they’re gone, and this appears to be specifically true of our ability to hear. Hearing loss is not only difficult to detect; it’s also tough to appreciate just how much hearing enhances our lives.
As one of our main senses, along with vision, hearing influences our mental, social, and physical health, so when we compromise our hearing, we put our overall wellness in jeopardy. But repairing our hearing can have many health benefits that we never really stop to think about.
Here are three ways enhancing your hearing can improve 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 occur from hearing loss and the barrier to communication it creates.
Hearing loss can be especially troublesome to a marriage, as Julie and Charlie Kraft had to find out the hard way.
For the majority 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 since the female voice is higher-pitched than the male voice, Charlie had an especially challenging time hearing his wife.
But because Charlie wasn’t conscious of his hearing loss, he thought his wife Julie simply spoke too softly, which was frustrating for him. At the same time, Julie thought Charlie talked too loudly—not to mention that she always had to repeat herself—which was aggravating for her.
In this way, hearing loss builds a frustrating barrier to communication where both parties harbor bad feelings towards each other.
In Charlie and Julie’s example, they had the awareness to identify the hearing loss and to take action to address it. After Charlie started wearing hearing aids, he no longer had to talk so loud, and he started hearing new sounds, like the sounds of birds on the golf course. But the one benefit he reported he cherished the most was the improved communication he had with his wife.
Julie concurred, and both expressed how much stronger their relationship is without the burden 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 conducted by Hear The World Foundation, which discovered that 21 percent of those interviewed stated that they exercised more after purchasing hearing aids. In addition, 34 percent said they regularly take part in sports at least once per week, and 69 percent believe that their hearing aids have a favorable effect on their general health.
Hearing loss can make communication challenging to the point where people tend to avoid the social events and activities that they used to love. With hearing aids, you can pursue these activities with confidence, resulting in 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.
Clearly, 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 issues.
How Has Better Hearing Improved YOUR Life?
Statistics are one thing; stories of actual people reaping the benefits of better 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 someone else to take the first steps toward better hearing.