The sense of hearing is critical to how we make sense of our environment and the world. It is a major way we receive and process information which allows us to understand and make meaning of our experience(s). This becomes more difficult to do when hearing is impaired. Hearing loss disrupts the process of collecting and processing sound, drastically impacting various aspects of a person’s life.
Fortunately, hearing aids have transformed the way people with hearing loss are able to hear and navigate. These small electronic devices are designed to absorb, amplify, and process sound; drastically improving one’s ability to hear. This happens through the main components of hearing aids:
- Microphone: absorbs sound from the environment and translates them into electrical signals
- Amplifier: strengthens the electrical signals
- Speaker: sends the amplified electrical signals to the inner ear
Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss and are incredibly effective. Being able to hear better cultivates overall happiness and can radically change your life! The benefits of hearing aids are countless, a few include:
1. Enhance Communication
Hearing loss can significantly strain communication. Impaired hearing restricts the information people can absorb and process. This affects how a person engages in conversation as they often experience:
- Difficulty hearing distinct words
- Sounds are muffled making conversation challenging to follow
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves, speak loudly and/or softly
- Tinnitus, which is a ringing or buzzing noise in one or both ears
- Needing to move to a quieter area to hear more clearly
- Reading mouths to help identify words
The combination of these symptoms of hearing loss make conversations tasking for everyone involved. It can lead to miscommunication, discomfort, stress etc. creating an unpleasant experience.
Hearing aids increase a person’s ability to hear, alleviating many of the symptoms that make communication frustrating! People are able to hear more clearly and therefore respond effectively without the exhausting work of trying to hear. This allows people to be more present in conversations without the numerous distractions of trying to hear. Enhanced communication can truly change everything for the better!
2. Boost Confidence
The energy used when trying to hear with impaired hearing can be exhausting and lead to serious fatigue. Struggling to follow conversations and frequently asking others to communicate differently can be overwhelming. Conversations can feel like more work than pleasure and contribute to anxiety and unhappiness.
Being able to move with ease during conversations really boosts confidence, sense of independence, and enjoyment. Hearing aids adjust to the settings people are in, helping people hear in all types of environments. No longer having to constantly make adjustments (and asking others to make adjustments) throughout a conversation feels refreshing and easy. This encourages people to participate in activities and conversations more fully and with greater presence.
3. Improve Relationships
Effective and consistent communication is essential for healthy relationships. Strained communication along with the fatigue that results from overworking yourself when trying to hear, often takes a toll on relationships. People with hearing loss may avoid social settings, gatherings, and events that involve engaging with others. This social withdrawal means spending less time with others and even missing important moments or milestones. Avoidance and distance can create tension in relationships and impact one’s sense of community and belonging.
Addressing and treating hearing loss can repair and strengthen relationships. As previously described, hearing aids drastically enhance communication which allows you to share quality time and space with others! Experiencing greater joy and having more fun with family and friends encourages closeness, improves those bonds, and creates priceless memories.
4. Strengthen Overall Health
Enhanced communication, greater confidence, and improved relationships deeply contributes to one’s mental and emotional health. Simply put, hearing better leads to feeling better. Being able to perform responsibilities, socialize easily, and be more present enriches how you navigate daily life.
Additionally, hearing aids support and encourage healthy brain function and can delay cognitive decline. Hearing loss has also been linked to other medical conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes; as well increased accidental injuries. Addressing and treating hearing loss can be preventative and protects one’s overall health!