It’s frequently suggested that we don’t completely appreciate the things we have until they’re gone, and this seems to be specifically true of our ability to hear. Hearing loss is not only hard to detect; it’s also difficult to appreciate just how much hearing improves our lives.
As one of our prime senses, along with vision, hearing influences our mental, social, and physical health, so when we compromise our hearing, we put our overall well-being in jeopardy. But repairing our hearing can have several health benefits that we never really give much thought to.
Here are three ways enhancing your hearing can strengthen your social, mental, and physical health.
Hearing and Relationships
The foundation of any healthy relationship is communication, and with hearing loss, that foundation is weakened. Miscommunication, hard-feelings, and avoidance can all result from hearing loss and the obstacle to communication it creates.
Hearing loss can be particularly disruptive 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 because the female voice is higher-pitched than the male voice, Charlie had an especially tough time hearing his wife.
But because Charlie wasn’t conscious of his hearing loss, he thought his wife Julie simply talked too softly, which was frustrating for him. At the same time, Julie thought Charlie spoke too loudly—not to mention that she constantly had to repeat herself—which was frustrating for her.
In this manner, hearing loss generates a frustrating barrier to communication where both people harbor bad feelings towards each other.
In Charlie and Julie’s example, they had the awareness to recognize the hearing loss and to take action to tackle it. After Charlie began 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 perk he reported he appreciated the most was the enhanced communication he had with his wife.
Julie agreed, 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 carried out by Hear The World Foundation, which found that 21 percent of those interviewed reported that they exercised more after acquiring hearing aids. Additionally, 34 percent said they actively participate in sports at least once per week, and 69 percent believe that their hearing aids have a positive effect on their overall health.
Hearing loss can make communication difficult to the point where people are inclined to avoid the social events and activities that they used to enjoy. With hearing aids, you can pursue these activities more confidently, resulting in more exercise and enhanced 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.
Evidently, the lack of sound stimulation to the brain with hearing loss causes several negative effects, ultimately causing 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 problems.
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 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 others to take the first steps toward better hearing.