It’s pretty well-known that hearing aids help most people suffering from hearing loss. But, did you know that hearing aids can help to keep your brain sharp, or slow down other health issues? Recent research shows that taking care of hearing health affects overall health.
Clearer Signals = Clearer Mind
Correcting hearing loss and vision loss can reduce or slow down cognitive decline, according to this article from NPR.org. It describes a study done by the University of Manchester, which showed a 75% improvement in cognitive decline in people who started using hearing aids. That’s remarkable! And there were similar results in studies done with vision tests. There was an improvement for people who addressed their vision health, but only about 50%.
To be clear, there is still a decline, but addressing hearing or vision loss can slow the decline significantly. In other words, there are fairly simple fixes that can help to preserve brain function by improving hearing health.
There have been some improvements in prescription glasses in recent years, but hearing aids have come a long way in a short time. Digital technology is available at affordable prices, and that should continue to get better and better in the next few years. With the switch from analog to digital, hearing aids can now understand the types of sounds coming in and adjust to them. This means that instead of just boosting volume, a modern, digital hearing aid can clean up the sound as it comes into your ear.
When you put on a pair of prescription glasses, things go from fuzzy to clear immediately. The brain adjusts quickly. However, when you first try hearing aids, it may have been a while since you’ve heard certain sounds. Your brain might need extra time to get used to the change. Once that brief adjustment period is over, hearing aids help the wearer to be more sociable and to communicate with greater ease. While a person with hearing loss might fumble for words, a person with hearing aids has more confidence to respond appropriately.
We know that 48 million people in the US have some form of hearing loss and 95% of them could be helped by hearing aids. We also know that many people continue to put off getting help for a number of reasons. The most common reason we hear is that hearing aids are very expensive, and most insurance plans don’t help with the cost. Others have tried hearing aids, but have been frustrated with the experience.
Hopefully, once people learn that addressing their hearing loss can positively affect their overall health, they’ll take action. It’s no longer a complicated or expensive process to get the hearing help they deserve.