Better Hearing and Speech Month has arrived. For over 75 years, the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) has dedicated this entire month to increasing awareness of communication disorders such as hearing loss and improving treatment while lobbying to decrease the stigma associated with hearing loss.
This year’s theme is Connecting People. There are many reasons to stay connected to other humans. It’s been proven that people who maintain strong social connections live longer, healthier lives. It doesn’t matter if you have a small group of friends or a large group of colleagues; being connected to other humans is beneficial to your health. Staying connected isn’t just about staying physically fit and healthy, but also mentally fit and healthy.
Loneliness can kill
Researchers have warned that loneliness and social isolation can be as harmful to one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day and that the problem is most acute among seniors.
Two out of every five Americans believe their social ties are not crucial at times or all of the time, and one out of every five feels lonely or socially isolated. According to Brigham Young University professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad, who testified before the US Senate in April 2017, the problem is structural and psychological, and the absence of connection can have life-threatening repercussions.
Social isolation among older persons costs the federal government an estimated $6.7 billion per year. According to research, poor social ties have been linked to a 29% increase in the risk of coronary heart disease and a 32% increase in the risk of stroke.
For example, in the United States, the average household size has shrunk over the last decade, resulting in a 10% rise in people living alone. According to the United States Census Bureau, over a quarter of the population currently lives alone, including 28% of older individuals.
The good news is that friendships lower the chance of death or the development of certain diseases, and they can also help people recover faster when they are sick.
Hearing treatment can reduce feelings of loneliness.
Hearing aids can help you stay connected with those around you.
Hearing aids are not just about getting your hearing back – they allow you to be a part of conversations, enjoy music, and connect with family and friends.
Here are some ways hearing aids help you stay connected with others:
More understanding: You can hear what people say when they speak to you. This means you can respond appropriately and participate in conversations. You won’t miss out on important information or feel left out when people talk among themselves while ignoring you.
More shared enjoyment: You’ll be able to listen to music and enjoy other sounds, such as nature, birds chirping or waves crashing on the beach. This can be very relaxing and enjoyable for many people.
Better phone calls: You’ll communicate better by phone because hearing aids make it easier for the person on the other end of the call to understand what you’re saying. If you need help making phone calls, apps are available that can assist with this process (and other smartphone features).
Hearing aids allow people to communicate with the world around them quickly and safely, significantly enhancing their quality of life. According to the Better Hearing Institute, people who use hearing aids to restore their hearing loss have a higher quality of life than those who let hearing loss go untreated. They maintain more satisfying social relationships, enjoy hobbies, go to more social gatherings, and feel more confident in their working life.
Hearing aids are even more critical during a pandemic.
Understanding speech is even more crucial in an age of mask mandates and enforced physical distancing. Hearing aids help you hear specific frequencies better, which gives you an edge when trying to understand words spoken through a mask or when someone is speaking to you from a six-foot distance.
Hearing aids with Bluetooth can also make it much easier to navigate our safest ways to socialize with others during this pandemic, such as video calls and phone conversations. Pairing with your laptop or smartphone is easy and convenient, and you won’t ever have to deal with the inconvenience of taking your hearing aids off and putting on a pair of headphones.
Are you ready to get reconnected with those around you? Contact us today to set up a hearing test.