Hearing loss is a common health condition that affects nearly 50 million Americans according to research supported by the World Health Organization. A study by Johns Hopkins published in The Archives of Internal Medicine found that 1 in 5 Americans age 12 and older have hearing loss severe enough to adversely impact communication. According to the American Academy of Audiology, hearing loss is the third most common health condition in the United States, following heart disease and arthritis. The Hearing Health Foundation estimates that the number of Americans living with hearing loss exceeds those living with Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and Diabetes combined. Yet, despite the prevalence of hearing loss, experts estimate that only 20 percent of those who need hearing aids actually wear them. Hearing aids provide a number of clinically proven benefits including improved communication and decreased listening effort. Best of all, hearing your best will help you stay connected to the important people in your life. Here are the top five benefits of correcting hearing loss.
1. Hearing aids can increase earning power
Wearing hearing aids can actually increase your earning power. Research by the Better Hearing Institute found that untreated hearing loss can reduce annual earnings by as much as $30,000. The study also found that correcting hearing loss with hearing aids was found to reduce the risk of decreased earnings by over 90 percent for people with mild hearing loss, and nearly 77 percent for those with moderate-to-severe hearing loss.
2. Slow cognitive decline
Several studies have linked untreated hearing loss to an increased risk of developing dementia and reduced cognitive functioning. The decline appears greatest for those who do not wear hearing aids to correct hearing loss. A study from the University of Pennsylvania found that reduced hearing loss can actually accelerate atrophy in the auditory areas of the brain making speech understanding more difficult.
The good news is that researchers have found that hearing aids help decrease atrophy while increasing hearing ability. The exciting new research further supports that treating hearing loss with hearing aids may slow the cognitive decline associated with hearing loss.
3. Reduce annoyance related to tinnitus
More than 50 million Americans experience tinnitus, a high-pitched ringing or clicking noise in the ears. With rare exception, tinnitus is usually accompanied by hearing loss. Wearing professionally-fit devices to correct hearing loss can reduce the annoyance of tinnitus for many with hearing loss.
4. Hearing aid wearers are satisfied with hearing aid performance
According to a study by the non-profit Better Hearing Institute, more than 91 percent of those who purchased hearing aids in the last year were satisfied with their purchase. Nearly 90 percent of current hearing aid wearers would recommend hearing aids to a friend with hearing loss.
5. Better living
Finally, the Better Hearing Institute has found that people who wear hearing aids to correct their hearing loss enjoy a better quality of life than those who let hearing loss go untreated.
*Some of this content was provided by starkey.com. Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ carries Starkey brand hearing aids, including the new iQ hearing aids. Call us today at 772-286-4327 and schedule your FREE comprehensive hearing evaluation with our Board Certified Hearing Aid Specialist.