Wearing hearing aids when you need them may help you stay healthier longer. A University of Michigan study also found that older people who use hearing aids within three years of a hearing loss diagnosis tend to see other positive health outcomes.
The study authors examined eight years of Medicare claims data representing 115,000 seniors from across the U.S. The data showed that, within the three-year window, those with hearing aids were less likely to be diagnosed with several conditions. Anxiety, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and depression were less common than in hearing-impaired people without hearing aids.
Another bonus: The hearing aid wearers also were less likely to fall and get hurt.
Interestingly, the scientists found that men were more likely to actually use their hearing aids.
More research is needed to understand whether hearing aids truly cause a decrease or delay in these conditions, but there are reasons it would make sense for hearing aids to help. The devices maintain a key source of brain stimulation: sound.
They also help people stay social and independent longer. Without social interaction, it’s easier to become depressed and anxious. Loss of independence is a tough transition that also can contribute to anxiety and depression. And it’s well-known that keeping your brain stimulated is vital to keeping it healthy.
It would also make sense that a vibrant brain would be better at preventing serious falls.
So, if hearing loss is a reality for you, embrace the tiny devices that help you hear. The benefits outweigh any vanity concerns you may have.