Oticon Alta

It's a Wonderful Life: The Importance of Treating Hearing Loss

Common wisdom backed up by numerous scientific studies says that treating any health condition would result in a better quality of life.

When it comes to hearing loss, it is no different. Extensive research has proven time and again that hearing aids, especially the newest, less obtrusive models, lead to benefits such as better communication skills and cognitive function, greater self-confidence, better overall health, more frequent participation in social activities, and more balanced emotional state. In a word hearing aids go a long way toward improving our lives.


Treat your hearing loss and bring back life's wonders

Suffering in silence literally

It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure this out, since hearing health care professionals already have: impaired hearing diminishes our quality of life.

That finding is both anecdotal and scientific, and it is a global phenomenon.

A recent Italian study, for example, found that people suffering from hearing loss shy away from social interactions, resulting in feelings of inferiority.

Another European research, carried out at a university in Finland, investigated emotional problems associated with hearing loss. This study demonstrated that more than half of respondents had been negatively affected by impaired (and unaided) hearing, suffering from embarrassment, isolation, and depression.

Both studies, however, brought up a very important point: that assistive technology works wonders. The Finnish research, for instance, noted that with daily use of hearing aids, a considerable number of study participants experienced improvement in hearing and quality of life within six months.

Plethora of evidence

Scientific proof of the link between hearing aids and good quality of life abounds.

Lets start with research by the National Council on the Aging (NCOA). A study of more than 2,000 people with hearing loss and their families conducted several years ago, showed a clear correlation between the use of hearing aids and significant improvements in the social, emotional, psychological and physical well-being of the wearer. That improvement in the overall quality of life applied to people with mild, moderate and severe hearing impairment. And according to Dr. Sergei Kochkin of the Better Hearing Institute in a recent interview with AudiologyOnline, the study was also one of the first studies to demonstrate that theres almost a linear relationship between degree of hearing loss and quality of life.

Then theres an article published in 2007 in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology indicating that people who wear hearing aids experience a better quality of life than those who do not wear hearing aids. The article was based on "A Systematic Review of Health-Related Quality of Life and Hearing Aids: Final Report of the American Academy of Audiology Task Force on the Health-Related Quality of Life Benefits of Amplification in Adults." Despite its long title, the reports findings can be summed up quite simply: hearing aids improve quality of life by reducing psychological, social, and emotional effects of hearing loss.

But wait, there is more. A 2006 British report entitled Evaluation of the Social and Economic Costs of Hearing Impairment, features a scientific review of numerous international surveys about the impact of hearing aids on quality of life. Data from the United States, Europe and Australia was compiled to clearly bear out the following facts:

  • Hearing aid wearers enjoy not only a better quality of life than non-users, but also better overall health.
  • Hearing aid wearers are less introverted and more likely to engage in social activities than those who dont use assistive technology.
  • Those who use hearing aids not only communicate better with people around them, but they also enjoy better personal relationships.

Sit up and listen!

Thats because theres even more credible evidence. An earlier study published by the Quality of Life Research journal in 2002, reported that participants hearing improved 100 percent with the use of hearing aids.

The report bears out another interesting point: Hearing impaired people often underestimate their hearing loss (believing it is adequate and doesnt require hearing aids). Therefore, they also underestimate the impact assistive devices would have on improving their hearing.

After the hearing aids were fitted, however, these same people became aware of the marked before and after difference - they were able to hear and communicate much better than they had imagined.

So regardless of the extent of your hearing loss or even if you refuse to admit you fall into the category of the hearing impaired - the bottom line is this: hearing aids will help you hear, understand, interact, and communicate better, making your life easier and more enjoyable.

Take the first step in improving the quality of your life by getting your hearing evaluated. To find a hearing healthcare professional near your visit Healthy Hearings Find a Professional Section.

Share this article


Related Content
Sign Up for Our eNewsletter
Our free eNewsletter is delivered to your inbox every two weeks - it’s the best way to stay informed about what’s new at Healthy Hearing!