15 benefits of better hearing and hearing aids
Do you know that there are many benefits of getting a better hearing?
If not, don’t worry. See our top 15 benefits of getting hearing aids and better hearing.
Here are what we’ll cover:
Let’s get started.
“Improved hearing has positive benefits on the brain functioning”
15 benefits of better hearing and hearing aids
What the experts say
15 benefits of better hearing and hearing aids
Okay, so maybe you think about getting your hearing tested or maybe even getting a pair of hearing aids.
“But why should I do it? What are the benefits?” you might ask.
No need to look further. We’ll go through the 15 best benefits of getting hearing aids and improving your hearing.
The benefits can affect different parts of your life. Therefore we’ve split them into five different categories:
- Hearing benefits
- Social benefits
- Health benefits
- Economic benefits
- Overall life benefits
The benefits of improved hearing
We’ll dive right in with our top 15 list. Be aware that it’s ranked based on category and not by how high we rank the benefit. That’s because the importance of each benefit varies from person to person.
If you, like us, like to get into the details, you can find them after the list below.
- Improved ease of listening
- Reduced background noise
- Better awareness
- Minimize tinnitus symptoms
- Hearing sounds that were missing
- Better communication
- More confidence
- Staying active
- Increased independence and security
- Improved brain functioning
- Better sleep
- More energy
- Decreased health costs
- Improved earning potential
- Better quality of life
While hearing benefits is the most obvious benefit of improving your hearing, it’s still very important.
The benefits are not ranked in any particular order, as the magnitude of the different benefits varies from person to person.
1. Improved ease of listening
One of the first things people notice when trying a hearing aid is how easy it suddenly is to listen to everyday stuff like TV, music, and podcasts.
Where you previously maybe had to struggle to hear something, with hearing aids, that’s much, much easier.
A classic example, of how improved ease of listening benefits both you and your surroundings, is that you’ll probably realize how high they’ve turned up the volume of their TV all these years.
2. Reduced background noise
Hearing aids have developed a lot over the past decade. Therefore a lot of the new quality hearing aids now can reduce background noise intelligently.
What does that mean?
Let’s give you a few examples. Imagine that you’re in a place with a lot of background noise. That could be a restaurant, where there is noise from the kitchen or table next to you. Or maybe at the family dinner, where there is more than one conversation going on at a time. Or perhaps at the stadium, watching your favorite team playing with plenty of fans cheering.
Usually, these settings can be quite tricky for people with hearing loss, as the brain can have a hard time figuring out what is background noise and what isn’t.
The good news is that quality hearing aids can now figure out what is background noise, and tune that down, and what is relevant sounds, such as conversations you’re involved in, and tune that up.
3. Better awareness
A common issue for people with hearing loss is that it can be hard figuring out where sounds come from.
For example, some experience that it can be difficult to pinpoint where a sound comes from if they take a walk outside or maybe just if someone is calling their name somewhere behind them.
Some of the hearing aids released in the latest years have technology that can localize where the sound comes from and improve awareness.
4. Minimize tinnitus symptoms
Tinnitus is probably the most known type of hearing loss, and more than 50 million Americans have or have experienced a “ringing in the ear.”
What a lot of people don’t know is that tinnitus strongly correlated with hearing loss. That’s because tinnitus is a common side effect of hearing loss and results from your brain trying to process sounds.
Furthermore, many people don’t know that hearing aids can actually do a great deal to reduce tinnitus.
Although there is no cure for tinnitus, hearing aids can help reduce tinnitus in two ways:
- Firstly, the best hearing aids for tinnitus are designed to deliver relief. By subtly amplifying background noise to help reduce the awareness of tinnitus, your brain can focus on the sounds you want to hear instead of the sound of your tinnitus.
- Secondly, some hearing aids also provide other relief programs, like listening to soothing/calming sounds, which can distract the brain and minimizing tinnitus symptoms.
5. Hearing sounds that were missing
Hearing loss is something that sneaks in on you and happens over time. Because of the slow process, it’s common to be unaware of all the everyday sounds that have quietly left your life.
For example, the sound of birds singing, the wind in the trees, or maybe your spouse driving up in front of your house.
All these “missing” sounds are something that almost everybody recognizes immediately when trying a hearing aid for the first time. Therefore, it is usually the first benefit that most people notice.
While hearing benefits might be the most obvious benefit of hearing aids and improved hearing, social benefits are, in our opinion, usually the most underrated.
6. Better communication
Our life is based on interactions and relations with other people.
But what happens when our ability to communicate decreases slowly from day today?
The harsh answer is that we’ll become increasingly distant from our friends and family, as we’ll have a harder and harder time participating in the conversations we have with them.
Although the answer above might seem a little black and white, there is a truth to it.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of quality hearing aids that let you hear almost at your natural pre-hearing loss level, and therefore can help you better communicate with the people you love.
7. More confidence
As a result of better communication and significant improvement in speech clarity, some people experience more confidence as they start to wear their hearing aids more.
Therefore it’s not uncommon to develop more self-assurance, which can change your interactions with others and improve your whole sense of identity. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself having more conversations while checking out at the grocery store or ordering dinner at a restaurant.
8. Staying active
While a hearing aid might not force you off your couch and run 10 miles, it can make it possible to do the things you love with the people you love.
Whether that is spending time in the outdoors or at social events, hearing aids help to keep people of all ages socially, cognitively, and physically active, you might even think of them as a high-tech anti-aging tool.
9. Increased independence and security
An untreated severe hearing loss might make you depend more on other people than you admit or notice.
For instance, when you’re unable to hear your phone ring, a fire alarm, a doorbell ring, or an emergency vehicle on the road behind you.
However, if you improve your hearing and invest in hearing aids, you should regain that independence and security.
Health is important to everyone.
But how can hearing aids improve your health?
As a matter of fact, in several different ways.
10. Improved brain functioning
Yes, we’re still just talking about getting new hearing aids, not a new brain.
However, an improved hearing has positive benefits on the brain functioning.
And this makes good sense:
You hear with your brain as well as your ears. So when you supply sounds to your ear via hearing aids, it sends the information to your central nervous system, and those cells become active and useful. However, without those sounds, the cells in your brain are not used and may atrophy.
As a result, this can lead to some huge potential upsides in the overall cognitive functions. Here are a few examples:
- Sharpness: as your speech and everyday situations become easier, your “sharpness” increases because less effort is put toward understanding speech.
- Working memory: a study concluded that hearing aids could lead to significant improvements in “working memory” – the memory used for reasoning and decision-making.
- Depression: as a result of improved brain functioning and increased socializing, the use of hearing aids can also lead to a reduced risk of depression.
- Dementia: while there isn’t a cure for dementia, studies suggest that the increased brain stimulations from hearing aids can prevent or slow down the development of dementia.
11. Better sleep
It’s no secret that better sleep means better health.
“But can hearing aids lead to better sleep?” – you might ask.
Yes. And don’t worry, we are not about to suggest that you sleep with your hearing aids on. However, hearing aids might improve your sleep.
So are hearing aids a sleep aid or what?
Yes and no.
If you don’t suffer from hearing loss, a hearing aid can’t cure that insomnia.
However, if you have hearing loss related insomnia, hearing aids could help in a couple of critical ways:
- Tinnitus: as mentioned in benefit 4, hearing aids can provide some tinnitus relief. As a result, this can help reduce the ringing in your ears and improve your sleep.
- Strain: Your hearing aids will effectively lessen the burden on your brain. And when your brain isn’t constantly struggling to hear everything around you, it’ll be less likely to continue that practice when you’re trying to sleep (it’s that “my brain won’t shut off” issue).
- Isolation: hearing loss is linked to depression, and your sleep cycle can be disturbed by chemical imbalances as a result of depression. Because of this, falling asleep and staying asleep can become more difficult.
According to a study, 44% of people with hearing loss who don’t wear hearing aids documented being satisfied with their sleep compared to 59% sleep satisfaction among those who did wear a hearing aid.
12. More energy
Did you know that hearing aids can give you more energy?
That’s right like coffee, hearing aids can give you some extra energy during the day.
Maybe you haven’t realized it. After all, hearing loss usually happens over time. However, that is because fatigue is a side-effect of hearing loss.
As we’ve mentioned above, your brain and your hearing are closely connected. Struggling to hear forces your brain to work much harder to understand the sounds around you.
This additional tax on your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. Using hearing aids reduces this added load, leaving you to feel less tired and more energized.
Improving your hearing with hearing aids might come at an initial cost.
However, hearing aids can also provide some huge economic benefits.
13. Decreased health costs
For example, a recent study from Johns Hopkins University stated that for Americans with untreated hearing loss, the overall health care costs increase over $22,000. This is 46% higher than Americans not experiencing any hearing loss.
However, the growing health care cost of neglecting hearing loss treatment is only one side to the sword.
14. Improved earning potential
The other issue is the loss of productivity, early retirement, and unemployment for those who suffer from hearing loss. These factors prove to harm the average household income across the US of up to $12,000 per year.
However, this depends on the severity of the hearing loss and how close you are to retirement. Still, the ramifications of having an untreated hearing condition can most definitely derail a household’s economy.
Therefore, when you compare this to the price of hearing aids, which can be as low as $1,000 depending on quality, the math is pretty straightforward. In short, hearing aids can be an excellent financial decision.
Overall life benefits
We’ve saved the best for last. All the first 14 benefits add up.
The most important benefit of getting better hearing and hearing aids is that your overall happiness increases and that your life should become easier in many ways.
15. Better quality of life
While we can’t promise you that hearing aids will give you paradise on earth, surveys and studies have shown that people are generally happier after getting hearing aids.
In a survey with more than 175,000 people with hearing loss and hearing aids, 96% reported that hearing aids improved their quality of life!
Why is that?
Well, that depends on who you ask, as benefits vary from person to person. But what almost everyone who uses a hearing aid seems to agree on is that their quality of life is also better.
But what can you do? How can you improve your hearing?
It’s actually really easy!
You can start by taking control of your hearing by contacting a hearing specialist.
What the experts say
Most people know how beneficial better hearing and hearing aids are.
However, some people prefer to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Therefore we’ve collected a few statements from Doctors and other experts that truly emphasize the importance of improving your hearing.
Both users and doctors love hearing aids
The 96% mentioned above of users satisfied with their hearing aids are not the only ones.
Doctors and researchers are also overly fond of hearing aids.
Let’s show you how much.
Below are a few expert statements.
If you have some hearing impairment and you’re not using hearing aids, maybe you can figure out what the person has said, but that comes with a cost. You may actually be using the majority of your cognitive resources — your brain power — in order to figure out that message… Most people will experience hearing loss in their lifetime. Think about somebody who is still working and they’re not wearing hearing aids and they are spending so much of their brainpower just trying to focus on listening. They may not be able to perform their job as well. Or if they can, they’re exhausted because they are working so much harder. They are more tired at the end of the day and it’s a lot more taxing. It affects their quality of life. (Link)
Ph.D. University of Texas at El Paso
Hearing loss takes an enormous toll on… people in so many ways, physically and mentally, while limiting activities of daily living. Greater awareness of the burden of hearing loss will help improve… the quality of life. Measures such as hearing aids… can provide assistance. (Link)
Department of Health Services Research, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
We know that hearing aids can keep adults with hearing loss more socially engaged by providing an important bridge to the outside world… Our study suggests that using a hearing aid may offer a simple, yet important, way to prevent or slow the development of dementia by keeping adults with hearing loss engaged in conversation and communication. (Link)
Anil K. Lalwani
MD, professor of otolaryngology, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital
Do you want to try the benefits of better hearing yourself?
Do you suspect that you have a hearing loss?
And do you want to find out if you can take advantage of some of the benefits of better hearing?
If yes, we recommend that you start by owning your situation and take control of your hearing.
If you’re still in doubt about how to tackle your hearing loss, you can find our ultimate hearing loss guide here.
But remember, the sooner you start, the sooner you get to utilize the benefits.