Many scientific studies in the past have confirmed the negative impacts associated with hearing loss: depression, anxiety and social isolation. There are positive impacts associated with hearing solutions, as well. A study conducted by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) supplies overwhelming data about how much of a difference hearing devices can make.
The study surveyed more than 2,000 hearing loss patients who use devices to enhance the sense of sound. Of the sample group, 82 percent of patients indicated they would recommend hearing devices to their friends, and 70 percent reported an improved ability to communicate. The data also shows more than four out of five people who use a device to hear better are satisfied with their solution.
“This survey clearly reveals how dramatically people’s lives can improve with the use of hearing devices,” BHI Executive Director Sergei Kochkin, PhD said. “In this comprehensive study of more than 2,000 hearing device users we looked at 14 specific quality-of-life issues and found today’s hearing devices are a tremendous asset to people with even mild hearing loss who want to remain active and socially engaged throughout their lives.”
The study also concluded up to a third of patients saw improvements in their romance, sense of humor, mental, emotional and physical health. Further, roughly 40 percent noted improvements in their sense of safety, self-confidence, feelings about self, sense of independence and work relationships.
Additional studies yield similar results. Overall, two thirds of hearing device users report their quality of life is either “better” or “a lot better.” While effectiveness of communication ranks as the biggest benefit to wearing hearing devices, a significant portion of respondents cite improvements unrelated to hearing, such as enhanced mental/cognitive skills and the ability to join groups.
These results are the most significant of their kind because they show a clear potential solution to many of the draining feelings patients with hearing loss suffer. Many of the positive responses are attributed to changing technology that has led to smaller and less visible hearing devices, resulting in a decrease in the societal stigma associated with wearing devices in day-to-day life. Those who are hesitant to wear them for fear of looking older should keep in mind hearing loss can occur at any age, and half of all American adults with hearing loss are between 45 and 74 years old.
New devices are more intelligent and offer many improvements over older generation models. Many offer wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, and several manufacturers have introduced iPhone-compatible devices. BHI’s Kochkin believes the first step to preserving your future enjoyment in life is to make an appointment with a hearing health professional and get your hearing checked.