It’s commonly suggested that we don’t truly 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 improves 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 welfare in jeopardy. But restoring our hearing can have many health benefits that we never really stop to think about.
Here are three ways enhancing your hearing can elevate your social, mental, and physical health.
Hearing and Relationships
The foundation of any good 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 produces.
Hearing loss can be particularly disruptive 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 difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds. And because the female voice is higher-pitched than the male voice, Charlie had an especially challenging time hearing his wife.
But given that Charlie wasn’t conscious of his hearing loss, he believed his wife Julie simply spoke too quietly, which was frustrating for him. At the same time, Julie believed Charlie spoke too loudly—not to mention that she constantly had to repeat herself—which was aggravating for her.
In this way, hearing loss establishes a frustrating barrier to communication where both people harbor bad feelings towards each other.
In Charlie and Julie’s case, they had the awareness to recognize the hearing loss and to take action to handle it. After Charlie started wearing hearing aids, he no longer had to talk so loudly, and he started hearing new sounds, like the sounds of birds on the golf course. But the one perk he claimed he appreciated the most was the improved 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 wearing hearing aids tend to make you more active?
The answer is yes, according to a survey carried out by Hear The World Foundation, which discovered that 21 percent of those questioned stated that they exercised more after getting hearing aids. Additionally, 34 percent said they actively participate in sports at least once per week, and 69 percent feel 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 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) found 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 causes several negative effects, bringing about an increased risk of depression, social isolation, and mental decline. But the good news is, studies have also shown that using 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 enjoying the benefits of better hearing are quite another.
If you use 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.