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How would you gauge your quality of life? For many of us our health, personal relationships with friends and family, a steady job to keep us comfortable and safe would be some of the first things to come to mind. Our health determines much of how active and engaged we can be in our personal and professional lives. We need to know how important our hearing health plays into that.
Is it common knowledge that hearing loss has detrimental effects not just on us personally but on society as a whole? Unfortunately, it is only recently that our auditory health has come to the forefront. Currently, hearing loss is the fastest-growing public health concern besides cancer and diabetes. The World Health Organization states, “It is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss.”
The good news: if you treat hearing loss with hearing aids, studies have found that you will experience emotional and financial benefits.
Working with hearing loss comes with many obstacles, some of which are anxiety and unknown challenges. The more you know about what you have your favor the better equipped you will be to overcome personal and professional issues when impacted by hearing decline.
At the Hearing Institute, the executive director, Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D. covered the topic using a study involving participants that were already working and encompassing 40,000 households. Some key results of the study:
- The unemployment rate was double of those with hearing loss (15.6%) than those without. The unemployment rate for those that were using hearing aids came in at 8.3%. This is compared to the unemployment rate of 7.8% for people that had normal hearing.
- Dependent upon the level of hearing impairment, there was approximately a $30,000 loss of income each year for those with untreated hearing loss
- Alleviation of the loss of income for with milder hearing loss was over 90%, and the percentage for those with moderate to severe hearing loss ranged from 65%-77% when hearing aids were used.
The invisible nature of hearing loss has manifested some very grave consequences for those in the workplace and their ability to have comparable income levels as the rest of the hearing population.
The American Disabilities Act has provisions and policies in place for the hearing afflicted to be able to integrate and thrive in their work environments. The ability for the hearing impaired to advocate for themselves and educate others in their workplace is to their benefit and for their further empowerment.
Mental and emotional health
Recently, links between our hearing capabilities and our cognitive abilities have been confirmed. From studies to Alzheimer’s to depression, our need to communicate predicates our cognitive health and our social needs. If we ignore our hearing needs it impacts our ability to retain our hearing process. We continue to get distorted information from our ears to our brains. This continued pattern results in behaviors that are detrimental to our health.
As people often feel exhausted for their lack of hearing ability there is a tendency to withdraw from what would be routine familial and social situations. This leaves us vulnerable to isolation and depression. It is urged by the governing bodies on our national health policy as well as medical studies to be proactive and get a hearing assessment. As well as early detection, the early use of hearing aids is suggested as soon as a diagnosis is made so that hearing impairment is addressed positively.
Hearing impairment is no longer relegated to the elderly. In fact, it is highly suggested that an assessment is made as soon as any hearing issues arise. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicable Diseases (NDICD) estimate that about 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids. Technology and the push for better public awareness for our hearing health have left behind negative stereotypes of the past. We also have many options to choose from that fit out lifestyles. A hearing health professional would be able to guide and fit you with a hearing device specific to your needs. If we can invest in a monthly gym membership wouldn’t the same be said for investing in one of the senses we take granted for so easily and rely upon so much?
Ascent Audiology & Hearing
At Ascent Audiology and Hearing, we encourage you to give us a call and invest in your hearing health. We understand that it might be intimidating but your overall health is our concern. Whether the first appointment is for you or someone close to you, know that we are equipped to get you started on your path to a better, fuller hearing experience.