The Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss

The Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss

by Dr. Kevin Ivory

Have you noticed changes in your hearing abilities, but have yet to seek treatment? The Hearing Loss Association of America estimates that people wait five to seven years to address issues with hearing loss. Treating hearing loss provides significant benefits to your overall health and well-being, from reducing the risk for cognitive decline to strengthening your most important relationships.

Why is it Important to Treat Hearing Loss Early?

If you’ve noticed that your hearing isn’t as sharp as it once was, or that you’re missing a few sounds in conversation and struggling to follow speech in places with a lot of background noise, it may be time to schedule a hearing test. It’s tempting to think your hearing loss isn’t serious enough to warrant a hearing test, but treating hearing loss sooner rather than later is the key to having good health outcomes.Treating hearing loss as early as possible will increase your quality of life and protect you from more severe negative health outcomes. One of the main reasons to treat hearing loss early is your cognitive health. You might think you hear with your ears, but you actually “hear” with your brain, and when the auditory centers of your brain aren’t receiving input from your ears, these areas weaken or experience cell death. This damages your brain health, which is a progressive problem, meaning it may worsen the longer you put off treating hearing loss.Treating hearing loss early reduces this reordering in the brain, and keeps all the auditory cells active and healthy, hearing all the sounds around you. The sooner you treat your hearing loss, the sooner you’ll enjoy the benefits of clear hearing, and you can relax knowing you’re doing the right thing for your brain.

Treat Hearing to Reduce Risk of Dementia

One health concern that’s closely linked to hearing loss is dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Living with untreated hearing loss affects your brain health and leads to rapid cognitive decline. When you’re living with hearing loss, you put so much energy and brain power into simply hearing what’s been said that you don’t have any processing power left over for other tasks. With this increased cognitive load, other functions like focusing on tasks, thinking critically, or storing new memories don’t receive the brain power needed.In a recent study, Dr. Arthur Wingfield from Brandeis University found that not only does hearing loss affect your ability to hear sounds, it also has a major effect on higher-level functions, and those with hearing loss perform poorly on cognitive tests. Even with mild hearing loss, cognition suffers far more than you might think. This cognitive decline weakens your brain, and increases your risk of developing dementia or another degenerative brain disease.

Treating Hearing Loss to Improve Relationships

Treating hearing loss is about far more than your ability to hear sounds. When you’re living with untreated hearing loss, your relationships may begin to strain. When you can’t hear clearly, following conversations becomes a struggle, which could affect relationships with your spouse, family, and friends. For some, difficulties with communication may lead to social isolation, as your inability to communicate keeps your from enjoying time with friends, socializing after work, or talking to your children on the phone. Treating hearing loss early will increase your quality of life, help you maintain close relationships, and reduce your chances of living with stress, anxiety, or depression.

Picking the Right Hearing Device

Today’s hearing aids are powerful, sophisticated devices that will change the way you interact with the world around you. They’re highly effective, comfortable, and easy to use. Many can even be controlled with a smartphone app for the ultimate in ease and discretion. Popular hearing aids offer full connectivity features, allowing you to stream music, phone calls, audio, email notifications, alarms, or even driving directions directly to your ears. The use of hearing aids will reconnect you to the sounds of your life, ensuring that you don’t miss a moment.Visit us at Glendora Hearing to learn more of the benefits of treating hearing loss, including reducing your risk of falls, decreased hospitalizations, and increased earning power. We’ll work with you to pick the right hearing device that will give you all the benefits of clear hearing.

Written by
Reviewed by
Dr. Kevin H. Ivory
Audiologist & University Instructor
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Dr. Kevin Ivory, Au.D., CCC-A received his Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He then went on to earn his Doctor of Audiology degree from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, one of the top 10 audiology residential programs in the country.

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