Most of us will have to deal with age-related hearing loss at some point in our lives. In fact, the Hearing Loss Association of America estimates that 48 million Americans are living with some degree of hearing loss. Unfortunately, hearing loss doesn’t only affect your physical well-being, it can also impact your mental health and ability to socialize. People with hearing loss often report feeling isolated and start to go out less often.
The medical community is currently developing treatments to help reduce hearing loss as we age. Dr. Robert Frisina, Chair of the University of South Florida’s Medical Engineering Department, has conducted studies that found the hormone aldosterone, when combined with various anti-inflammatory medications, prevented age-related hearing loss in mice. Additionally, the mice demonstrated no negative side effects after receiving treatments. The hormone treatment still needs to be tested in human clinical trials before it gains FDA approval, but new hearing loss treatments appear to be on the horizon.
In the meantime, if you believe you are suffering from hearing loss, you should look into hearing aids as a method to get “younger ears.” Sadly, many people experiencing hearing loss wait an average of 7 years before seeking help for the condition. Some older adults choose to ignore their hearing loss altogether, which can negatively affect their social lives. Hearing aids restore your ability to hear, which makes it easier to go back to the activities you enjoy with friends and family.
Studies at Johns Hopkins University and other research facilities have linked hearing loss with cognitive decline, memory loss, clinical depression, as well as a connection to Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, the use of hearing aids has been shown to reverse or prevent many of these issues. Furthermore, wearing hearing aids will help you feel younger because you will be able to more effectively communicate with your loved ones.
By wearing hearing aids and improving your hearing, you will be able to carry on conversations in crowded rooms, public places, or other social situations with a great deal of background noise. Your enhanced conversational skills will improve your self-esteem and make you feel more connected to those around you.
Wearing hearing aids can also keep you safe and bolster your ability to respond to warnings such as alarms, sirens, and horns, as well as less critical sounds like your phone or front door.
Additionally, the use of hearing aids will help ensure you understand and participate in important workplace conversations, which is important to your career. Improving workplace communication helps increase production and will make you a better team member. Wearing hearing aids can help avoid workplace misunderstandings, which can lead to feelings of frustration and isolation, while also improving your coworkers’ attitudes toward you and their jobs.
Hearing aids are a critical investment in your health and well-being. If your health care insurance doesn’t cover the costs, ask your hearing aid provider if financing options are available. Your new hearing aids will provide the “younger ears” you need to re-engage with the people around you.
If you are tired of missing out on important conversations, get your hearing tested.