Hearing aids can improve not only your quality of life but that of your loved ones. Beyond helping you hear better, hearing aids help with communication and can relieve the stress and anxiety that comes when you find it difficult to interact with the people around you. Consider these benefits to yourself and others when you get hearing aids.
Benefits For You
The most apparent benefit of hearing aids is that they help you hear better. Many people wear hearing aids because they have damage to the sensitive nerve cells in the ear that help transmit sound. This type of injury can be a very natural result of the aging process. To support the surviving nerves send sound to the brain, hearing aids amplify the vibrations entering the ear. This allows those surviving nerves to make up for the loss of other nerves.
Better hearing not only helps out in everyday life, but it is also critical to those who are still in the workplace. Choose a hearing aid based on a hearing test conducted by your audiologist to ensure that it addresses your specific needs. You should also have regular hearing tests so that your doctor can make adjustments if necessary.
Better communication is another benefit for those who wear hearing aids. People with hearing loss may shy away from conversations because they often miss words or hear something different than what was actually spoken. It is very difficult to engage in a meaningful conversation with a friend or loved one when you are only hearing part of what they are saying.
When people with hearing loss do communicate, their inability to understand the entire conversation can lead to miscommunications that cause stress and anxiety. Those who choose hearing aids get the benefit of amplified sound that makes communication much more natural. They find that they no longer have to shy away from social gatherings or feel the stress of something as normal to our everyday lives as talking to a cashier or waitress.
A tremendous body of research shows that people with hearing loss experience shame, frustration, fatigue and emotional distress. Because they struggle with everyday conversations, especially over the telephone, they find themselves pulling further and further away from their loved ones and no longer feel connected. Mental health issues related to hearing loss build up, with one problem leading to another until the feelings become overwhelming. Stress and frustration lead to a lack of sleep that causes exhaustion, which in turn can lead to stress and irritably that affects everyone. This multiplicative effect can then turn into a severe depression and a complete disconnection from loved ones.
It is important to remember, however, that hearing aids address the root of the problem and thus can stop this snowball effect from even starting. Once people adjust to using their hearing aids, they can better understand conversations and communicate better. This can help eliminate the stress and anxiety that leads to more severe emotional distress.
Benefits For Loved Ones
People who care about those with hearing loss experience their own stress and anxiety, but this is primarily due to communication problems. While someone with hearing loss may feel that people just don’t feel like dealing them anymore, quite the opposite is usually the case. When people with hearing loss start to remove themselves from family gatherings, dinner conversations, or just general interactions, those around them may also start to feel disconnected from what had been a good relationship.
This can be particularly hard on children, who find themselves wondering why a family member slowly pulls further and further away from the relationship. Miscommunications can lead to confusion and stress, for example from missed gatherings because someone with hearing loss misheard the date or time. Loved ones also experience stress because see the stress and frustration building in someone they truly care about. The good news is that much of this emotional stress can be relieved for friends and family members when people get hearing aids. Once communication improves, so do relationships.
There are many reasons people shy away from hearing aids, but when you consider their benefits, it’s clear that the help they provide vastly outweighs any other concerns.