Living well: Fend off the blues with a hearing test
(BPT) - Need a mood boost? Maybe it’s time to check your hearing.
Here’s why: Hearing loss is linked to a greater risk of depression in adults of all ages, especially in 18 to 69 year olds. But studies show treating hearing loss can boost quality of life.
People with hearing loss who use hearing aids are less likely to feel down, depressed or hopeless, research from the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) shows — and they get more pleasure from doing things.
Luckily, the vast majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. And tremendous advances in technology — even in just the last couple of years — have made today’s hearing aids better than ever, motivating many to get a full hearing test from a hearing healthcare professional.
Sleek, cutting-edge, present-day hearing aids allow people to hear more clearly the richness of sounds and conversation from all directions while filtering out background noise. Many sit discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal, out of sight. And many are wireless, so they can stream sound from smartphones, home entertainment systems, conference-room speakerphones, hearing loops and other electronics — directly into your hearings aid(s) at volumes just right for you. Some are waterproof, and others are rechargeable.
So if you’ve been fighting the doldrums, make sure it’s not unaddressed hearing loss that’s been weighing you down. Get a hearing test from a hearing healthcare professional. And be inspired by these five ways that treating hearing loss may help put some spring back in your step:
- Keeping a positive outlook: People with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to be optimistic and feel engaged in life, BHI research shows. Many even say they feel more confident and better about themselves.
- Getting out and enjoying life: People with hearing difficulty who use hearing aids not only get more pleasure from doing things, but are more likely to exercise and meet up with friends to socialize, BHI research reports. Most even say it has helped their overall quality of life.
- Cultivating relationships and social connections: Using hearing aids can have a positive effect on your relationships and ability to participate in group activities. In fact, people who wear hearing aids are more likely to have a strong social network.
- Communicating effectively: Using present-day hearing aids can help people with hearing loss in their overall ability to communicate in most situations. Most who bought their hearing aids within the past five years say they’re pleased with their ability to hear in the workplace; at home with family members; in conversations in both small and large groups; when watching TV with others; in lecture halls, theaters or concert halls; when riding in a car; and even when trying to follow conversations in the presence of noise.
- Maintaining a can-do attitude at work and at home: BHI research shows that those with hearing difficulty who use hearing aids are more likely to tackle problems actively. And most hearing aid users in the workforce say it has helped their performance on the job. In fact, earlier BHI research found that using hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss. People with untreated hearing loss can lose as much as $30,000 in income annually, the study found.
For more information on hearing loss, and to take a free, confidential, online hearing check to determine if you need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing healthcare professional, visit www.BetterHearing.org. Follow BHI on Twitter @better_hearing. Like BHI on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/betterhearinginstitute.