Hearing aids can lengthen your life
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Is this possible? Hearing aids can give you a longer life? Yes, it is possible. Not only can your lifespan be lengthened with hearing aids, it can be greatly enhanced. Having your hearing at its optimal best, making sure your hearing status quo keeps you connected to those around you, will give you an enhanced and (hopefully) longer life.
The company of man
A famous quote from Helen Keller – Hearing is what keeps us in the intellectual quote of man – reminds us that hearing connects people to others and the world we live in. If you find your hearing levels aren’t what they used to be and mishearing is now commonplace you may also find yourself becoming disconnected or even isolated from conversations going on around you. Having hearing aids will keep you connected and involved in what’s going on in your environment.
Many studies show that social isolation not only leads to poor mental health (depression, anxiety) but earlier death. Wearing a hearing aid has been shown to reduce the risk of being diagnosed with depression or anxiety by 11%. There are now more than 3.5 million older Australians and reports from hospitals across the country indicate an increase in older people presenting to emergency departments with problems related to social isolation. Premature death in older people can result from mental health issues such as social isolation. An American study described major health risks linked to isolation, can lead to an increased mortality rate of 26%.
Hear more, move better
We’ve discussed the four pillars of health to keep us living well with less cognitive overload – vision, hearing, dental and podiatry (mobility). If you look after your eyes, your ears, your teeth and your feet, the load on your cognition is lessened. If your hearing is optimised with hearing devices you will free up your brain to focus on, among other things, your mobility. Our brain uses a lot of energy to keep us upright and moving successfully. Studies have shown that unattended hearing loss can lead to a higher incidence of falls, particularly in older people. Falls can be fatal. Nowadays there are hearing aids with fall detection sensors (Starkey Livio AI). So not only will you have less likelihood of having a fall if you augment your hearing (and therefore lessen your chance of having a lethal fall), if you do fall and have a Livio AI device, your loved ones will be notified immediately and get help to you quickly.
Remember when you could hear?
Improve your memory – cognitive decline can lead to dementia and untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase your chances of cognitive decline. Alzheimer’s related deaths have increased by 89% in the first 15 years of this century. So if you’re having problems with your memory – have a hearing test to see if a hearing aid may help slow the risk of cognitive decline and an early death.
Hear the warning signs
Not only with your own health, but make sure you’re not missing emergency warnings! Workplace accidents happen when people don’t hear the alarm. Many forklift accidents have occurred when the reversing beep wasn’t heard by the victim. Hearing alarms, horns or people yelling out to stop you walking in front of a truck are vital in keeping you alert and alive.
Consider if you are having to ask for repeats in conversations. If so, it might be time to get a check to see if you hearing is complete. You want to make sure you aren’t missing sounds outside of your hearing range. A simple hearing test and a hearing aid could not only save your life in an emergency, but give you a longer, more enjoyable and connected life.