(BPT) - Of all the life hacks for better living, taking care of your hearing is among the smartest — and it yields an incredible ROI. In short, getting a hearing test is worth it.
No matter what your age, untreated hearing loss can take its toll. The catch is, hearing loss is stealthy. It’s usually hard to notice at first. In fact, it tends to come on so gradually that it tricks you into oblivion. Then it robs you of more than you realize, sooner than you realize.
From pilfering away at your relationships and quality of life, to putting you at risk for other health conditions, untreated hearing loss is a silent thief. And don’t think for a minute that you’re too young to think about hearing loss — you’re not.
It’s a noisy world. You’re part of it. And the numbers show that hearing loss is becoming more common among younger adults — in their 20s and 30s. So make sure you value your hearing. It's a treasure worth keeping.
To give you an extra push, here are eight reasons why you should get a hearing test today.
1. It may help your pocketbook. Research shows that middle-aged people with hearing loss have about a third more in health care payments than those without hearing loss. A study by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) shows that using hearing aids reduces the risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss. People with untreated hearing loss lost as much as $30,000 in income annually, the study found.
2. Your mind may benefit. Research shows a link between hearing loss and dementia, leading experts to believe that interventions, like hearing aids, could potentially delay or prevent dementia. Certainly, notable researchers believe that addressing hearing loss may at least help protect cognitive function.
3. It could boost your job performance. Most hearing aid users in the workforce say it has helped their performance on the job. That's right. Getting a hearing test could benefit all those employees (a whopping 30 percent) who suspect they have hearing loss but haven't sought treatment.
4. Life’s challenges may not seem so intimidating. Research shows people with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to tackle problems actively. Apparently, hearing your best brings greater confidence.
5. Your zest for life might get zestier. Most people who use hearing aids say it has a positive effect on their relationships. They’re more likely to have a strong social network, be optimistic, feel engaged in life, and even get more pleasure in doing things.
6. It could protect you against the blues. Hearing loss is linked to a greater risk of depression in adults, especially 18 to 69-year-olds. But studies also show that treating hearing loss can boost quality of life. BHI research shows that people with hearing loss who use hearing aids are less likely to feel down, depressed or hopeless.
7. You’ll probably be more likely to get the drift. Most people who use hearing aids say it helps their overall ability to communicate effectively in most situations. The majority who bought their hearing aids within the past five years say they’re pleased with their ability to hear in the workplace, at home with family members, in conversations in small and large groups, when watching TV with others, in lecture halls, theaters or concert halls, when riding in a car, and even when trying to follow conversations in the presence of noise.
8. Your heart and health may benefit. Cardiovascular and hearing health are linked. Some experts say the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it’s possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body. But it isn’t just about your heart. Hearing loss may signal or exacerbate other health conditions as well, including depression, sleep apnea, cognitive decline, and the risk of falling and hospitalization.
So do it for your health. Do it for your happiness. Get a hearing test.
To take a free, quick, and confidential online hearing check to help determine if you need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing health care professional, visit www.BetterHearing.org.