Many people underestimate the impact of hearing loss, thinking of it as just a sensory problem. In reality, hearing health is vital to overall health which is why it is crucial to take action to avoid negative consequences.
people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually use one¹
years is the average it takes for people with hearing loss to take action²
No matter the degree of hearing loss, it can have an impact on your social, emotional, and overall well-being. It can creep up slowly, gradually affecting your ability to communicate and connect with others. It can also impact your ability to feel safe and secure in your surrounding environment, affecting your social life and participation. Health issues associated with hearing loss:
Sometimes with hearing loss, you can feel less confident in social situations, and relationships can struggle if you need to depend on others to act as your ears. Fortunately, there are ways to address these challenges—and seeing social benefits by communicating as partners and using hearing technology.8
Forming good habits when it comes to hearing health can have a positive impact on cognitive health.9 More frequent use of hearing aids is associated with improvements in cognitive function.10 Most older adults with hearing loss who were treated with hearing aids showed stable or even significantly improved cognitive function after just 18 months.* 11
Improved balance, greater environmental awareness12, and higher activity levels13 can be a few of the physical benefits of hearing aid use. Hearing aid use is also related to increased work and social activity, and for women, higher self-reported physical activity.14
Knowing the facts and prevalence of hearing loss can help alleviate the loneliness and isolation that can accompany it.
* In a study of older adults with hearing loss who were treated with hearing aids, a majority showed stable or even significantly improved cognitive function after just 18 months. More frequent hearing aid use was correlated with greater improvement in executive functioning skills
1. World Report on Hearing, 2021. Accessible via World Report on Hearing (who.int)
2. MarkeTrak 11, 2022 https://hearingreview.com/inside-hearing/research/marketrak-2022-navigating-the-changing-landscape-hearing-healthcare
3. Kramer, S.E., Kapteyn, T.S., Kuik, D.J., & Deeg, D.J.H. (2002). The association of hearingimpairment and chronic diseases with psychosocial health status in olderage. Journal of Aging and Health, 14(1), 122–137
4. Vas, V., Akeroyd, M. A., & Hall, D. A. (2017). A data-driven synthesis of research evidence for domains of hearing loss, as reported by adults with hearing loss andtheir communication partners. Trends in Hearing, 21
5. Loughrey, D.G., Kelly, M.E., Kelley, G.A., Brennan, S., & Lawlor, B. A. (2018). Association of Age-Related Hearing Loss With Cognitive Function, Cognitive Impairment,and Dementia. JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, 144(2), 115-126
6. Jiam, N.T.-L., Li, C., & Agrawal, Y. (2016). Hearing loss and falls: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Laryngoscope, 126(11), 2587–2596
7. Vercammen, C., Ferguson, M., Kramer, S.E., Meis, M., Singh, G., Timmer, B., Gagné, J-P., Goy, H., Hickson, L., Holube, I., Launer, S., Lemke, U., Naylor, G., Picou, E., Scherpiet,S., Weinstein, B., & Pelosi, A. (2020). Well-Hearing is Well-Being: A Phonak Position Statement. Hearing Review, 27, 18-22.
8. Ferguson, M.A., Kitterick, P.T., Chong, L.Y., Edmondson-Jones, M., Barker, F., Hoare, D.J. (2017). Hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss in adults. Cochrane Database of System Revue, 9. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012023Kamil, R.J. & Lin, F.R. (2015). The Effects of Hearing Impairment in Older Adults on Communication Partners: A Systematic Review. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 26/2, 155-182 (28). https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.26.2.6
9. Karawani, H., Jenkins, K., & Anderson, S. (2018). Restoration of sensory input may improve cognitive and neural function. Neuropsychologia, 114, 203–213. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.04.041
10. Sarant, J., Harris, D., Busby, P., Maruff, P., Schembri, A., Lemke, U. & Launer, S. (2020). The effect of hearing aid use on cognition in older adults: Can we delay decline or even improve cognitive function? Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9, 254. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9010254.
11. Sarant, J., Harris, D., Busby, P., et al. (2020). The effect of hearing aid use on cognition in older adults: Can we delay decline or even improve cognitive function? Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(1), 254. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9010254
12. Negahban, H., Bavarsad Cheshmeh Ali, M., & Nassadj,G. (2017). Effect of hearing aids on static balance function in elderly with hearing loss. Gait Posture, 58:126-129. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2017.07.112
Rumalla, K., Karim, A.M. & Hullar, T.E (2015). The effect of hearing aids on postural stability. Laryngoscope, 125(3), 720-723. https://doi.org/10.1002/lary.24974
Vitkovic, J., Le, C., Lee, S.L. & Clark, R.A (2016). The Contribution of Hearing and Hearing Loss to Balance Control. Audiol Neurotol, 21(4),195-202. https://doi.org/10.1159/000445100
13. Dawes, P., Cruickshanks, K. J., Fischer, M. E., Klein, B. E. K., Klein, R., & Nondahl, D. M. (2015). Hearing-aid use and long-term health outcomes: Hearing handicap, mental health, social engagement, cognitive function, physical health, and mortality. Int J Audiol, 54(11), 838–844. https://doi.org/10.3109/14992027.2015.1059503
14. Holman, J. A., Hornsby, B. W. Y. , Bess, F. H., & Naylor, G. (2021). Can listening-related fatigue influence well-being? Examining associations between hearing loss, fatigue, activity levels and well-being, International Journal of Audiology, DOI: 10.1080/14992027.2020.1853261
15. World Health Organization. (2021). World report on hearing. Geneva: World Health Organization. Retrieved March 8th, 2021. from, https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/world-report-on-hearing
16. Carr, K. (2020). 20Q: Consumer Insights on Hearing Aids, PSAPs, OTC Devices, and More from MarkeTrak 10. Audiology Online. Retrieved March 25, 2021 from https://www.audiologyonline.com/articles/20q-understanding-today-s-consumers-26648
17. Ehima. (2020). Hearing Aids improve Hearing - and a LOT more. Trends derived from the EuroTrak databases 2009 – 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2021 from https://www.ehima.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/EuroTrak-Trends-2009-2020-June-2020.pdf
18. Jorgensen, L., & Novak, M. (2020). Factors Influencing Hearing Aid Adoption. Seminars in hearing, 41(1), 6–20. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1701242