Have you made a new year’s resolution for 2019? Does it involve reducing stress, staying better connected with family and friends, expanding your social network, learning a new skill or making more money? Then you may want to check to make sure your hearing is up to the challenge. Why's that?
Not surprisingly, good hearing plays a key role in a wide range of daily activities. What many people don’t realize is the degree to which diminished hearing can prevent them from living a productive life and achieving important personal goals. Here are some prime examples:
STRESS REDUCTION — With hearing loss, you may miss parts of conversation and struggle to understand what people are saying. This stress is compounded if you try to cover up or minimize your hearing difficulties. In addition, other members of your household may feel stressed by your hearing loss if they have to frequently repeat themselves.
PERSONAL CONNECTIONS — Let’s face it, if you can’t communicate effectively with relatives and friends, you’re probably not staying in touch with them as much as you should. Telephone conversations may be especially problematic, because you can’t read lips or pick up on body language that enhances speech comprehension.
SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT — The same factors that impede personal connections may also be hurting your broader social life. In fact, one study found that individuals who have untreated hearing loss are less likely to participate in organized social activities, compared with people who’ve received treatment for a hearing problem.
LEARNING EXPERIENCES — Maybe you’ve wanted to take a community education class, but you’re afraid you might have trouble hearing the instructor or participating in group discussions. So you give up on learning a new skill or hobby before you even get started.
EARNING POWER — Workers with untreated hearing loss earn less money than their normal-hearing peers. In a national survey conducted by the Better Hearing Institute, hearing loss was shown to negatively affect household income by an average of $23,000 per year. On the other hand, the use of hearing aids was shown to offset the effects of hearing loss by 50%.
As you make your new year’s resolutions, think about how your hearing will help — or hinder — the attainment of your goals. If you have trouble hearing, find a provider near you to schedule a hearing screening.