What Unexpected Benefits Can Result From New Hearing Aids?

Posted on: 22 December 2014

If you or a loved one uses a hearing aid to help navigate daily life, you're probably already aware of the difference these devices can make in your ability to keep up with the world around you. However, there are a number of additional, unexpected benefits that can result from upgrading your hearing aids (or by purchasing your first set of hearing aids). Read on to learn more about how hearing aids can improve not only your quality of hearing, but your quality of life.

Improved balance and reduced risk of falls

A recent study evaluated the effect of hearing aids on participants' ability to stand still and walk in a straight line. This study discovered that when participants' hearing aids were turned on, they were able to maintain their balance and stand in one place nearly twice as long as when these hearing aids were turned off. The study also found that those whose natural balance was worse were more likely to see improvements in balance when their hearing aids were used.

This study is important, as it demonstrates the importance of using hearing aids if you have already suffered a fall or if you have other health conditions that may be complicated by a fall (such as osteoporosis or diabetes). If you're currently using old or low-powered hearing aids, you may see additional improvement by purchasing newer, higher-tech hearing aids.

Higher earnings

One surprising side effect of hearing loss is a significant decrease in earnings. A study has shown that those who suffer hearing loss may earn up to $30,000 per year less than those with normal hearing. However, when hearing aids are used, this wage gap narrows significantly or may even be eliminated. If your coworkers have noticed that they have to repeat things more often, or if you find yourself having trouble following along at meetings, you might consider getting your hearing tested to see if you would benefit from hearing aids. The earlier you can have your hearing loss diagnosed and treated, the less likely you are to suffer any permanent consequences (employment or otherwise).

Increased physical safety

The improvements in your balance have already been discussed -- however, hearing aids can also ensure your safety in other situations. By amplifying background noises, a set of hearing aids can let you know when someone is following you. You can also use your improved hearing abilities to help you cross the street safely or avoid accidents while driving. Activities like running or bicycling become much safer when you're able to hear potential hazards coming down the road.

If your current hearing aids still don't allow you to hear these types of sounds well, you may wish to visit your audiologist and have these hearing aids tested. Your audiologist may recommend more powerful hearing aids that will allow you to hear a greater range of sounds.

Better concentration

One downside to traditional hearing aids is their inability to filter out background noises, making it difficult to focus on voices or other sounds. However, today's hearing aids are designed to target important noises (like voices) while leaving other white noise well in the background. By allowing you to focus on a single voice or sound, rather than presenting a cacophony of voices, these hearing aids can assist your concentration and ability to perform detailed tasks.

You may also even be able to operate your hearing aids from your phone -- turning the volume up or down without needing to remove the devices from your ears. Not only does this ability help you avoid the embarrassment of publicly removing your hearing aids, it can improve your safety by ensuring that you're never without hearing.