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. Taking care of your hearing can positively impact your cognitive, social-emotional, and physical well-being.
people older than age 60 have hearing loss.¹⁰,¹⁵
People with hearing loss are getting hearing aids 2 years earlier than in the past¹⁶.
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. Hearing well is key to overall healthy aging:
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.6
The ears and the brain are equal partners. Latest research suggests an association between hearing loss and cognition and that treating hearing loss with hearing aids can have a positive effect on healthy aging.2
Phonak recognizes the importance of fostering social participation and promoting an active lifestyle through their innovative hearing solutions. We also provide hearing care professionals with resources to foster cognitive well-being in hearing care.
Improved balance, greater environmental awareness7, and higher activity levels8 can be a few of the physical benefits of hearing aid use.
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. Abrams, H.B., & Kihm, J. (2015). An Introduction to MarkeTrak IX: A New Baseline for the Hearing Aid Market. Hearing Review, 22(6), 16. Retrieved from https://www.hearingreview.com/2015/05/introduction-marketrak-ix-new-baseline-hearing-aid-market/ on March 25, 2021 – update this to the new reference to the Marktrak 10 claim
2. Taljaard, D. S., Olaithe, M., Brennan‐Jones, C. G., Eikelboom, R. H., & Bucks, R. S. (2016). The relationship between hearing impairment and cognitive function: a meta‐analysis in adults. Clinical Otolaryngology, 41(6), 718-729.
3. Lin, F., et al. (2023, July 17). Hearing intervention versus health education control to reduce cognitive decline in older adults with hearing loss in the USA (ACHIEVE): a multicentre, randomised controlled trial. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(23)01406-X
4. Sarant, J., et al. (2023, July 16-20). Cognitive Function in Older Adults with Hearing Loss: Outcomes for treated vs untreated groups at 3-year follow-up [Conference presentation]. AAIC 2023 Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
5. 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.
6. 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
7. 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
8. 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
9. 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
10. 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
11. 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
12. 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
13. 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
14. Blustein, J., Weinstein, B.E., & Chodosh, J. (2023) It is time to change our message about hearing loss and dementia. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society;1‐4.
15. NIH Pub. No. 97-4235, March 2016.
16. MarkeTrak 2022: Navigating the changing landscape of hearing healthcare. Hearing Review, 29(5):12-17