Increase Physical Activity
One example of increasing physical activity is restoring interest in team sports. If a person cannot hear well enough to play to their full potential they, and likely their teammates will be disappointed by their performance and avoid playing. Hearing aids not only help people hear better and take part in more activities, but they will also increase personal safety during certain activities. Cycling without being able to easily hear vehicles or other cyclists around you could make for some scary situations.
Hearing aids such as Starkey’s Livio AI have sensors in them that monitor physical activity throughout the day like a Fitbit, or an Apple watch. The information can be displayed on a smartphone app where the hearing aid user can set goals to help encourage greater physical activity.
It would be interesting to see a study on the effect of restored hearing through hearing aids and weight loss.
Increase Social Activity
Hearing aids often helps people suffering from hearing loss become more active socially. Having difficulty hearing makes socializing difficult as the ability to easily understand speech is one of the first signs of hearing loss. Additionally, one of the hardest listening environments for speech is being in a group with background noise. Situations like restaurants and parties are all extremely difficult to communicate in. A convenient feature found in most modern hearing aids, is that they can change their settings automatically based on changes in the hearing environment and will even remember settings based on location.
Improve Mental Sharpness
there is an ever-growing body of research showing correlations between hearing loss and age-related issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. There is a thought that the lack of stimulation to the brain due to hearing loss has an influence on the development of these diseases. Modern hearing aids include smartphone apps that measure your time spent active listening and social engagement. They use this to develop a “brain score” that allows activities to be monitored.
Improve Quality of Life
Untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase social isolation and ultimately an increase in the likelihood of suffering from depression. Hearing loss makes dealing with everyday tasks exhausting mentally and physically (see our article on hearing loss for a day).
The good news is that surveys show that once hearing loss is treated, most often by fitting hearing aids, clients will report improvement in their quality of their life. Ultimately when you combine all the benefits, physical, mental, and social, it is easy to see that restoring hearing makes sense. The unfortunate part is most people wait as much as seven years before seeking treatment.