You’ve retired, you have your household affairs in order, you’d like to travel and perhaps visit friends and children out of state – but more often than not, you find yourself staying home. What’s holding you back?
Studies show seniors tend to limit their movements to familiar areas if they have hearing loss. There’s a big world out there and lots of things you can still do and at Encore Hearing Care, we’d like to help. Call today for a hearing evaluation and we’ll help you take those limitations off.
Hearing Loss and Movement
A study in Finland found seniors with hearing problems were twice as likely to limit their movements to familiar, nearby areas. This, the study found, tends to reduce the overall quality of life. Hearing loss does have effects on your ability to communicate, but also, the study shows, o the ability to move around and participate in hobbies and activities you enjoyed before the hearing loss became noticeable.
Hearing loss can make it difficult to navigate in noisy places because your ability to comprehend and process speech and locate the source of a sound is limited. So, spaces like restaurants, museums and stadiums make it hard for people with hearing loss to feel comfortable and engaging in conversations is challenging.
With hearing limitations, transportation centers like bus stations, airports and train stations present difficult situations because most of the announcements are done over an announcement system.
Many seniors with hearing loss decide they are “bad travelers” because they just can’t deal with the extra frustration of trying to understand what they can’t hear. Their behavior gradually changes to exclude situations that have complicated hearing environments. Even traveling to a new restaurant or movie theater can become overwhelming. This frustration with hearing and sound processing gradually changes traveling behaviors to just a small radius around the familiar homesite.
Lower Quality of Life
One of the studies from Finland studied nearly 850 seniors, men and women, aged 75 to 90. The study found people who had hearing problems moved less in their local area than those that considered their hearing good. A lack of mobility can lead to increased social isolation, depression and a decrease in the general quality of life of an individual.
As more and more areas become too confusing due to hearing loss, the social connections which enrich our life and keep our brain sharp, start constricting. No more parties, skipping religious services and outings with friends means you start to lose important connections.
Even just taking a walk may be an activity that suffers. Those with hearing loss find they fall more often because their brain is concentrating on processing the sounds around them and that decreases the brain power working on making sure you don’t fall or lose your footing.
Studies also show those with hearing loss tend to stop driving because there are too many distractions with attempting to hear and navigate. A study done in Australia also found adults with moderate to severe hearing impairment displayed poor driving skills.
Hearing Aids Can Help
Hearing loss often goes untreated because people tend to believe that their experience is not bad enough to need a hearing aid. But studies show many times, individuals just don’t realize what they are missing. Nine out of ten people with mild hearing loss don’t have hearing aids and 70% of the people between the ages of 65 and 84 who do need hearing aids – don’t have them. These numbers have caused hearing loss to be considered a public health challenge – a solvable challenge – but a challenge.
Hearing loss limits functioning more than just hearing. It impacts the overall quality of life from an increased risk of depression, early on-set dementia to irregular sleep patterns. But the majority of studies show that hearing aids markedly improve a person’s life from increased social interaction to better sleeping.
Encore Hearing Care
The first step to improving your quality of life if you have hearing loss – and even if you just want a baseline to see if you do have hearing loss – is to schedule an appointment at Encore Hearing Care. We will help you find the best hearing aids for YOU – after we consult with you about your lifestyle, expectations, budge and dexterity.