Many people mistakenly believe that putting in hearing aids restores hearing the way putting on eyeglasses or contacts restores 20/20 vision. According to one study, “Hearing aids restore sensitivity, but fail to restore normal perception.” In other words, hearing aids can amplify sounds to a level you can sense, but noises may not sound like they once did.
But don’t be discouraged! There are many benefits to wearing hearing aids, including preventing or delaying a variety of conditions, such as depression, anxiety, falls, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Below we review what you can expect from your first set of hearing aids.
You’ll Hear Better
This is a simple one. When you wear hearing aids, you can hear better than you can without them. This is because, as stated above, hearing aids amplify sounds to a volume your ears can detect and your brain can understand. Modern hearing aids are especially beneficial when you’re trying to communicate with a partner or friend in a place with a lot of background noise, like Sotto Mare.
You’ll Be Safer
According to a study by Johns Hopkins Medicine, people with hearing loss are three times more likely to experience an injurious fall than people with normal hearing. For every additional 10 decibels of hearing loss, the risk increased by 1.4-fold. This is likely due to lower overall awareness of one’s surroundings and increased cognitive load, or the brain being overwhelmed with demands on its limited resources. Hearing aids can help make you more in tune with what’s going on around you and make it easier to orient yourself in space by listening to the soundscape.
You’ll Improve Your Mental Health
Hearing loss is an incredibly isolating experience. When you can’t hear well, you tend to withdraw from people and activities you once enjoyed – a well-known risk factor for depression. In addition, if you’re constantly worrying about mishearing and responding inappropriately during conversations, this can lead to anxiety. Hearing aids can make you more confident in your interactions and empower you to get involved once again.
You’ll Improve Your Cognitive Health
When your hearing loss goes untreated, your brain undergoes neuroplastic changes, making it difficult for it to relearn how to hear certain sounds. In addition, another study from Johns Hopkins found that, “Older adults with hearing loss developed a significant impairment in their cognitive abilities 3.2 years sooner than those with normal hearing.” Hearing aids can prevent or delay a diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, reports the study cited above.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call San Francisco Audiology today.