Investing in Your Health: Treating Hearing Loss

An investment is the process of allocating assets that may potentially increase in value over time, providing returns. These returns may take the form of money or capital gains, but can take many other forms as well. For instance an investment can be spending time with people building relationships, learning a new skill, a creative pursuit, improving your own life or the life of others. The beauty of an investment in your health is that it can help ensure that you feel your best for years to come.

Investing in Hearing Health

One aspect of health that often goes overlooked is hearing health. Many don’t understand the importance of addressing a hearing loss because the negative effects are not always immediate. Sure, it is uncomfortable when you have to ask others to repeat themselves, mishear someone or appear completely disconnected. We don’t realize that overtime these tiny moments add up and turn into major rifts in relationships. We don’t always understand that strained relationships can escalate into social isolation, chronic depression, cognitive decline, loss of self-esteem and a higher risk of falls. 

When exploring the effects of hearing loss, it’s clear that our entire health is connected. Hearing aids are amazing devices which amplify the sounds you struggle with so you can hear clearly again. They may seem expensive at first look, but when you consider the risks to your health that untreated hearing loss can cause, it makes more sense to deal with your hearing now. Investing in treating your hearing loss can ensure that other aspects of your health will also be cared for. Here are some examples of what an investment in your hearing can mean:

Increased earning power

The price tag for hearing aids may feel daunting but consider the cost of not treating your hearing. In a 2011, study by the Better Hearing Institute, revealed that for those with hearing loss an average of $30,000 in earnings were lost annually. This was attributed to people’s lack of productivity when they struggled with an untreated hearing loss. The study also found that those with untreated hearing loss were twice as likely to be unemployed in comparison to those who used hearing aids.

Increased happiness for you and your family

When hearing loss goes unaddressed for years, the relationships around you start to suffer. Longtime friends grow distant as you struggle to connect and close knit relationships between family members become strained. Perhaps most heart breaking, intimate relationships between partners and spouses are negatively affected due to failures in communication. Treating hearing loss with hearing aids gives you a chance to communicate with more ease and gives families a chance to rebuild relationships again.

Improved cognitive health

Hearing loss develops in the ears but the effects occur in the brain. Sound from the ears is processed in the auditory cortex in the brain, deciphering the location, speech, and sounds. When the brain receives less auditory information, it is forced to strain to fill in the blanks. This is incredibly exhausting, and overtime can lead to brain atrophy due to lack of stimulation as well as increased cognitive decline.

2013 Research from Dr Frank R. Lin from the Johns Hopkins Center for Aging and Health found a direct correlation between the severity of an individual’s hearing loss and the speed and severity of cognitive decline leading to dementia. The good news is that a similar 2014 study from the University of Manchester in the UK, found that treating hearing loss with a hearing aid can reduce the risk of dementia by about 75 percent!

Investing in Your Future

If you have noticed even small issues with your hearing, the time to act is now. Even a slight hearing loss has been found to start the process of cognitive decline. One way to ensure that your relationships, your mind, your body, and economic success continue to thrive is to invest in hearing aids. The first step is to schedule a hearing test, to understand if there is a hearing loss and its extent. The next step is to invest in a treatment plan for your hearing before it has a chance to negatively affect the quality of your life.