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Treating hearing loss has been proven to keep our cognitive capabilities strong. The cognitive skills we possess to form thoughts, ideas, retain memory and communicate are influenced by the health of our hearing. Sharing experiences and activities with those close to us gives us the connection we need to retain our humanity and stay engaged. New technologies allow us to connect in ways we couldn’t have imagined even a decade or two ago. Unfortunately, due to multiple factors such as income, social support, and access to transportation the new public health concern is loneliness and isolation.
Cost of Untreated Hearing Loss
A financial indication of the situation would be the estimate by Medicare that over 6 million is spent on adults that suffer from a lack of emotional and financial support.
AARP conducted a national survey in 2018. It targeted the social and economic levels and their link to loneliness and social access and connection for middle-aged adults.
According to the results registered by the participants. The lower-income level for adults over the age of 50 the higher the scale of isolation. In fact, over 36 million older adults are not financially safe and are at higher risk of loneliness if their income is less than $25,000 a year. The physical cost of loneliness has been gauged at smoking 15 cigarettes a day. As our population ages, this phenomenon has prompted research and much-needed attention.
Repercussions of Untreated Hearing Loss
With low income and often paired with less access to transportation, the trend is for such adults to turn to isolation. Unable to expand social circles via physical and recreational activities, attending places of worship or attending family activities, a vicious cycle is set in motion. Binge-watching TV, eating, alcohol, and prescription medication are some of the negative coping mechanisms that people turn to when lacking the societal and emotional support needed.
How can technology help?
Technology can help when used appropriately but it can never replace human contact. In order to keep our cognitive skills well-honed, our interactions with others are imperative. Monitoring your hearing is part of the process. Our hearing is essential to our communicative abilities. Whether it is age, genetics, personal practices, work and home environments or illness and medications our hearing process is complex and needs maintenance.
Technology in the field of hearing and assistive listening devices has advanced at a rapid pace. To stay connected to your loved ones and active in social and recreational activities it is best to know your options. To stay out of a cycle of isolation and loneliness the mind needs to be engaged. Cognitive decline is one reason we must keep a check on our hearing health. An array of tools is at our disposal. The hearing loop system is designed for large and small public and private space from your home to a large auditorium. They are hard to discern, mobile and sounds are received directly by your hearing aids with minimal background noise.
Apps are available for your smartphone and easily transportable for text to read situations in restaurants and office spaces. Hearing aids and assistive devices allow us a wide range of styles, purposes, and budgets.
A key to early detection for hearing loss is to have an assessment. This will allow a person to make the adjustments necessary to continue with an active life and decrease the risks of permanent damage. To facilitate communicative abilities, one must be proactive about their cognitive and physical health as they are interconnected.
As stated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention there are close to 30 million Americans need hearing aids as part of their hearing health program. Without their use, it will compound any hearing impairments that they might have. If you or someone you care about is showing signs of social isolation and have hearing difficulties consult a hearing health professional. Strengthen relationships and family connections by caring for one of your most important senses.
At Absolute Audio, we understand the complexities of hearing impairments and are here to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you, and together we can forge a healthier, happier hearing experience.