Healthy Living & Wellness

Why Does Good Hearing Matter to Physical and Emotional Wellbeing?

Why Does Good Hearing Matter to Physical and Emotional Wellbeing?
Written by Guest Author

The effects of hearing loss extend beyond sensitivity to sound. Living is complicated, just like living with hearing loss is complicated. Family reunions, business meetings, restaurant meals, and other events are regularly hosted in noisy or echoing environments. It is generally agreed that in order to continue conversations in these challenging circumstances, participants depend on their cognitive abilities, peripheral hearing sensitivity (represented by a pure-tone audio signal), and central temporal awareness. When a bottom-up speech signal becomes impaired, as it does when someone has hearing loss, top-down cognitive processing becomes vitally important.

Additionally, there is a link between the sophistication and consequences of hearing loss. Losing one’s hearing can have a profound impact on one’s capacity to interact with and engage with others. Listening is, in numerous ways, a social sense. Because hearing is an emotional sense as well, hearing loss can affect whether we appreciate social gatherings, the arts, music, and how we perceive feelings. Additionally, hearing loss can make it more challenging to monitor acoustic changes in the environment, which could undermine one’s feeling of safety or comfort.

To put it another way, hearing loss is closely related to and significantly impacts our overall health and wellbeing. How do we even define wellbeing, though? How can we comprehend its relationship to good hearing activities? When should we seek the assistance of reliable hearing aid clinics? Let’s find the answers.

Socio-emotional Wellbeing

Human beings are social beings. We place a higher value on connectivity than on numerous other things. It seems to be for a desirable outcome. According to an increasing number of research, having emotionally supportive relationships is associated with improved health outcomes, such as a longer lifespan and improved physical and mental wellness. One of the largest longitudinal studies ever undertaken even makes the case that successful connections in midlife—with close friends, at work, or in the community—may act as a mediator for later-life cognitive and emotional health.

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How do hearing loss and hearing recovery relate to the notion that participating in social activities is beneficial to one’s body and nervous system? The relationship between hearing loss and a constrained social connection, a sense of loneliness, inhibited social communication, and an impact on the assessed quality of one’s interactions with others is one of the major problems with the condition.

What if hearing loss has a negative socio-emotional impact and acts as a moderating factor that affects long-term clinical outcomes? What if treating hearing loss would alter the course of events and give us the opportunity to live much longer and in improved health?

Depending on personality qualities, concurrent life events, and psychological or social circumstances, people can cope with hearing loss in various ways. On the one hand, people can properly monitor their hearing loss by using effective communication and/or hearing aids (engaged coping).

At the same time, many people choose not to confront hearing loss, such as by downplaying or ignoring their hearing issues, avoiding social settings, or engaging in disengaged coping, which is occasionally exacerbated by (self-)stigmaSocial isolation and loneliness could result from this.

Cognitive Wellbeing

Policymakers, academics, and clinicians are particularly interested in the themes of cognitive wellbeing and healthy aging. By 2050, it’s anticipated that one-third of the population in several regions of the world will be over 60. A hearing loss that affects everyday functioning will appear in around a third of people in this age group. 

Additionally, mounting research indicates that people with hearing loss are more likely than individuals with normal hearing to experience clinically significant cognitive issues.

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It is important not to undervalue the immediate, short-term impact of hearing aids on cognition. People with hearing loss can do better on a secondary task when wearing hearing aids during a listening test. These dual-task studies imply that rendering sounds more accessible can make listening less demanding, but individual cognitive capacity or knowledge of hearing aids may also be factors. Reducing listening effort may allow cognitive resources to be used for tasks other than listening and may also help people feel less fatigued.

There are questions surrounding the extension of experimental studies on hearing ability. Thus, new methods for assessing the advantages of hearing aids in practical situations may provide more clarity. For example, during Ecological Momentary Assessment, hearing aid patients are asked to log their experiences as they occur. By taking a questionnaire using an app multiple times per day, users can give input on how challenging hearing is in varying circumstances and how they would rate their listening abilities.

Physical Wellbeing 

As we learn about the world, we continually strive to be conscious of our environment by taking in data from all of our senses. The ability to process and comprehend the spatial features in our environment through surrounding sounds is an important one that enables people to keep track of surrounding acoustic changes. If you have hearing loss, this may be much more challenging because it is tougher to differentiate and recognize audio signals from little sounds, such as oncoming footfall or the rippling sounds from a damp, slippery floor.

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According to an increasing amount of evidence, elderly people with hearing loss are at a far higher risk of falling than their contemporaries who have normal hearing. As falls frequently have negative effects, including fatality, major injuries, and a loss of confidence — Identifying and addressing fall risk factors, such as hearing loss, is of utmost importance.

Concluding Thoughts 

Many of us begin to understand the value of living a healthy lifestyle as we become older. Everyone benefits from healthy living, of course, but for many people, it sometimes takes the reality of aging to persuade them to change for the better. The above-mentioned aspects are how hearing wellness contributes to and affects our overall wellbeing. 

AUTHOR’S BIO:

Lisa Gagnon is a content creator who has worked in the hearing health industry for many years cooperating with a hearing aid clinic. What she focuses on is sharing her experience in the industry, valuable tips, pieces of advice, etc. And the most essential point is that she emphasizes trustworthiness.

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