In the past, hearing aids have carried a stigma. Some people just associate them with aging. The result?
Many people, both old and young, forgo hearing aids and suffer needlessly from hearing loss, which itself is linked to a number of health concerns. The numbers back this up: 30 million people in the United States suffering from hearing loss, yet only about 15 percent of that population has ever worn a hearing aid.
In addition, younger people are suffering from hearing loss in greater numbers than ever before: a WHO report from 2015 predicted that 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults would damage their hearing permanently due to excessive use of headphones and louder and louder music festivals.
However, shifting attitudes and advanced technology have given hearing aids new life, and soon they’ll be in the same class as eye-glasses – and contact lenses, for that matter.
Why You Should Wear Hearing Aids
There are a ton of reasons why you should wear hearing aids, some of them obvious and some of them surprising.
Here are some of the most common reasons:
- You can hear better (As we said, there were some obvious ones on the list.)
- You won’t struggle as much in conversations
- You can listen to music and television at normal volumes
- You’ll boost your earning power
- You’ll give your brain a break
- You can enjoy social activities and settings again
- You can reduce tinnitus symptoms
Do these sound like good reasons to you? Even a person with minor hearing damage can find some benefit from wearing hearing aids. That being said, we want to focus on number 5 for a minute: You’ll give your brain a break.
What many people don’t know is that hearing loss is linked to cognitive decline, mental health issues, and conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Research points to several different reasons why this may occur, including that the brain gets overtaxed and overtired because it’s always trying to comprehend sounds. It’s possible brain cells shrink and die because they don’t receive enough stimulation, or it could be related to social isolation, which is a leading cause of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
Hearing aids can turn these issues around by letting you hear clearly and understand the words and sounds around you. Your brain can then process the sounds as it normally would without needing to use extra resources, while you’ll gain the confidence and ability to enjoy social activities and conversations again.
Technological Advances in Hearing Aids
We told you why it’s important for anyone with hearing loss – young or old – to wear hearing aids. Now we’re going to tell you about the how; as in, how hearing aid technology has advanced to the point where they’re no longer your grandparents’ hearing aids.
The bulky, over-the-ear hearing aids are still out there for the people who want them. They do their job adequately and have advanced to the point where most of them have no problem filtering out background noises like wind or determining which direction sound comes from. However, there are new and improved versions of hearing aids that are almost unnoticeable, yet pack quite a bit of technology to fit in with today’s digital world.
Do you want to connect your hearing aid to your smartphone, tablet, television, or even your car’s navigation system? Then you’re in luck, since most modern hearing aids come equipped with Bluetooth technology that allows them to connect to a variety of devices. There are even higher-end models that can stream music, keep track of your physical activity, and automatically take and make phone calls for you. Hearing aids today are designed to do more – just like your smartphone and smartwatch, smart hearing aids will become a must-have accessory for anyone suffering from hearing loss.
Are you ready to tackle hearing loss and get yourself a hearing aid? Contact a hearing specialist near you and schedule a consultation to find out what kind of hearing aid will work best for you.