Investing in Your Health: Treating Hearing Loss

The most common definition of investment is to allocate money with the expectation of a positive benefit in the future. However, investments come in many forms past monetary value. For instance, when people invest in the future, it simply means making some sacrifices in the present to reap rewards later. This could be in the form of time spent, relationships forged, or an investment in your health. While these investments may not have an immediate return, you may enjoy significant benefits in the future.

 

Investing in your Health

There are several ways you can invest in your health. Some of the most obvious ones are eating a healthy diet, full of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and free of fatty and processed foods. Another common way is to avoid smoking, excessive alcohol use, drink plenty of water and exercise daily. Generally, our current health system prioritizes treating a problem, rather than focusing on prevention. However, one way to invest in your health is to address health issues before it can become a more serious problem. 

 

A Future with Hearing Loss

One of the most common health issues that affect Over 5% or 430 million people of the world’s population is hearing loss. While this condition starts in the ears, its effects reverberate into communication issues. What starts as having to ask others to repeat themselves or trouble following conversation in crowded environments, can quickly cause rifts in personal and professional relationships. Humans are social creatures for the most part, so when social interactions begin to cause more stress than joy, this can have serious effects on your health. 

 

Treating Your Hearing Loss

While most cases of hearing loss are irreversible, the good news is that they can be treated, with the use of hearing aids or cochlear implants. These assistive listening devices amplify sounds you struggle with so you can hear them again. These devices have been found to improve quality of life, however they do require an investment. Hearing aids can be expensive, but understanding the risk of not treating hearing loss, can make the cost comparatively worth it. Here are some of the returns that investing in your hearing can provide.

 

Increased Earning Power

While hearing aids may feel like a huge investment now, just think about the economic toll untreated hearing loss can make on your professional career. As hearing loss becomes worse, it is common for misunderstanding due to lack of hearing to cause co-workers and employers to rely less on someone with untreated hearing loss. A 2011 study from the Better Hearing Institute found that an average loss of $30,000 in earnings per annum was recorded in those with hearing loss. Comparatively, the study found that wearing hearing aids can almost completely mitigate the negative effects of hearing loss on work earnings and employment prospects. 

 

Better cognitive health

Untreated hearing loss not only affects your finances but your overall happiness. When hearing loss progresses, it is often certain tones or pitches that become diminished first. This causes huge gaps in what is able to be registered by the ears, causing confusion and exhaustion. It is common for people to choose to avoid interactions with their loved ones or social situations altogether due to the stress of hearing loss. However, this can have negative effects on cognitive health for many reasons. When we self-isolate, the brain receives less stimulation and is offered less problem-solving. The more you challenge your brain, the sharper it becomes and similarly, when it is understimulated, this can cause cognitive decline. 

The beauty of treating hearing loss sooner is that it avoids the depletion of the auditory pathways it has created for sound processing. A 2013 study from the Johns Hopkins Center for Aging and Health found a direct link between the severity of an individual’s hearing loss and the severity of cognitive decline in almost 2,000 senior citizens. A separate study from the University of Manchester in the UK, found that treating hearing loss with a hearing aid can slow the development of cognitive decline and dementia by 75%.

 

Improved Quality of Life

It is hard for those with hearing loss to fully understand fully the distress hearing loss can cause to their families. Constant misunderstandings can develop into feelings of loneliness and resentment. The sooner you invest in your hearing, the sooner you can start to rebuild your relationships and quality of life. Of course, the first step is to schedule a hearing test. Call today!