The most important thing in life is to be happy. And how do you achieve that? By maintaining good health, good connections with your friends and family, and being able to provide enough for your immediate family. According to a new study, hearing aids could help you achieve these three aims. It’s been claimed that those who treat their hearing loss with hearing aids could improve their happiness, health and overall earnings more than those with untreated hearing loss. These claims are made in a report called “Hearing Loss – Numbers and Costs” by Professor Emerita Bridget Shield at Brunel University in London. Here’s what the report had to say on how hearing aids can improve your life.
The study found that users of hearing aids found an improvement in their overall quality of life and a positive impact on family ties. Hearing aids can improve different aspects of general health, and can lead to lower physical and mental stress, more restful sleep, and a reduced risk of depression. It’s easy to see how. Hearing aids make it easier to hear in noisy places, makes people more confident, improves quality of social interactions, and leads to the easy maintenance of social relationships with both close and loose social ties. This preservation of family ties is so vital to happiness. Social connections, even for introverts, is the key to to improved happiness. Many studies have shown how happy we are when we spend regular time with family and friends. The Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert put it best: “We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things, we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.” Some even say your relationships are worth serious money, £85,000 to be exact, according to a study in the Journal of Socio-Economics: “An increase in the level of social involvements is worth up to an extra £85,000 a year in terms of life satisfaction. Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness.” By treating hearing loss with hearing aids, you can improve social connections, which are vital for maintaining happiness and wellbeing, and warding off mental conditions such as depression and anxiety.
The study discovered a proven relationship between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline and dementia. This was confirmed also in a separate study conducted by a French academic in 2018 who found that those with untreated hearing loss were at increased risk of dementia and in men only, an increased risk of depression. Those who wore hearing aids were not subjected to the same effects. Going back to Shield’s study, she also found that fatigue, both during and after work, is also a major problem affecting many people with an untreated hearing loss. People with an untreated hearing loss in general also have more sick days. By treating hearing loss with hearing aids, you could reduce the risk of developing dementia, reduce mental and physical exhaustion, and reduce the need to take days off work due to sickness.
The study showed that hearing aid users earn much more than those with untreated hearing loss. There is also significant evidence that persons with hearing loss earn significantly less on average than persons with good hearing. Early retiring of persons with disabling hearing loss as well as lower demanding jobs of those with hearing loss could explain this. Also found in Shield's report are higher rates of unemployment for those with an untreated hearing loss than those without hearing loss. In the general population, the employment rate for people who suffer hearing loss is 83% of their hearing peers. By treating hearing loss with hearing aids, you could mitigate the potential loss of earnings and increased risk of unemployment. Professor Shield urges those who need hearing aids to get their hearing tested and have hearing aids fitted at the earliest opportunity, to get the full benefits. “Despite reports of many positive benefits of hearing aids, and overall satisfaction of those who use them, there are still large numbers of hearing-impaired people who are unaided,” she said.
To be fitted for a hearing aid, the first step is contact a local hearing specialist like the House of Hearing UK. We have a wider range of hearing aids than are available on the NHS and can provide expert fittings and guidance on how to use them. Contact us today to set up an appointment.