Hearing is a key sense because it allows us to communicate with others and learn about the world around us. Hearing not only lets us talk to other people, but it also helps us get to know them. “Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people,” stated Helen Keller, a prominent activist and educator of the 20th century.
Even though the level of hearing loss has a big effect on how well we can communicate, it’s important to never downplay or ignore how even mild hearing loss affects our daily lives.
Hearing for Communicating with People
Speech is one of the most complicated sounds we have to listen to, and being able to understand it is important for getting along with other people. Without normal hearing in both ears, it takes more effort to grasp what is being said, which can become exhausting quickly in noisy situations or when multiple individuals are talking at once.
It’s stressful for both the speaker and the listener when communication breakdowns occur, making getting together with friends and family a chore rather than a joy. This causes people to either avoid them or become more reliant on a partner or acquaintance who has better hearing.
If a person with hearing loss waits too long to get help and treatment from a professional, the stress of trying to deal with it may hurt their relationships.
Hearing and experiencing sounds around us
Even though talking to others is crucial, listening also matters because of its positive effects on our happiness and standard of living. The quality of a person’s hearing can affect how much they enjoy a wide range of activities, such as listening to music, watching TV or the radio, going to the movies or the theatre, going to a place of worship, going to meetings for learning or fun, and even enjoying the sounds of nature.
These sounds are part of living life to the fullest, but everyone is different and has different needs and preferences. But how easily can hearing loss, which in many cases can be helped by hearing aids and individualised expert help so easily and effectively, ruin or make it impossible to enjoy the world of sound without help?
Hearing & Personal Safety
It’s important to remember how crucial your sense of hearing is to your safety. An impending danger is often audible long before it can be seen, if it can be seen at all.
We depend on our hearing to keep us safe and healthy every day, if not all the time. This is true whether we’re crossing the street, driving a car, responding to fire, smoke, or burglar alarms at home, at work, or in public buildings, or just being aware of someone coming up behind us who could hurt us.
To figure out where a sound came from, we also need our hearing to be in good shape. If you have better hearing in one ear than the other, you’ll have a harder time pinpointing where sounds are coming from and estimating their distance. If your hearing is very off, like if you are deaf in one ear, you won’t be able to tell which way sounds are coming from. This can be dangerous in some situations.
Hearing and Working
The unemployment rate for people with hearing loss is significantly higher than the national average. Hearing loss on the job that isn’t treated can cause a number of problems, and many people who are already working but have hearing loss do so for no reason.
Regrettably, not everyone who needs a hearing aid will tell you about it. It may not be in your best interest to hide your hearing loss from your employer, as they are required by law to accommodate employees with disabilities.
If your hearing loss is well controlled and you wear the best available technology to treat it during the workday, you’ll have a much easier time.
Hearing and mental health
In the past few years, there have been a lot of research papers that talk about the link between hearing loss and mental distress. Dementia and cognitive decline have both been linked to unaided hearing loss. The reasons behind this are not yet understood, but scientists are working hard to pinpoint the link between hearing loss and brain function.
According to research published in The Lancet in 2017, treating risk factors like hearing loss in midlife (between the ages of 40 and 65) could stop one-third of dementia cases.
It’s important to care for your hearing (just as you would your eyesight and dental health) because untreated hearing loss increases mental workload, causes social withdrawal, and contributes to feelings of despair. Hearing exams should be as common as eye exams and cleanings of the teeth and eyes, especially after age 40.
The Early Signs of Hearing Loss
Depending on your age, gender, and way of life, there are different signs that your hearing may be changing. The most common ones are:
- More difficulty comprehending talks in pubs and restaurants with loud backgrounds.
- When more than one person is speaking, it requires greater concentration (and potentially lipreading) to follow the conversation.
- Requiring a louder volume for television viewing but not always improving speech clarity
- Not always understanding a store clerk or a supermarket cashier when purchasing.
- Inability to hear others clearly in a car or on public transportation.
- Those who know you well comment that your hearing is not as excellent as it once was.
It’s easy to ignore warnings like these, but you’ll make life much simpler for yourself and your loved ones if you do. Having good hearing is crucial to your health and happiness in so many ways.
A hearing test is simple, can be scheduled quickly, and is typically free of charge. If you are up for the task, look up ‘hearing testing near me’ and book yourself an appointment with an audiologist. The sooner you take action, the better the outcome for you and your loved ones.
What positive effects does hearing have on overall well-being?
The ability to hear is crucial to human well-being. Hearing is essential for communicating with others and experiencing the world around us. This facilitates interaction with our close personal and social networks. The ability to hear is also crucial for making new friends and participating in hobbies that help us stay physically and socially engaged.
Hearing is important because it is so important for other parts of a healthy lifestyle to work well. If neglected, even minor hearing loss can seriously affect a person’s quality of life. If our hearing is good, we’ll spend more time interacting with others, decreasing our chances of feeling lonely and depressed. Hearing also helps keep our brains busy, which has been shown to lessen the likelihood of developing dementia.
Ways Hearing Is a Unique Sense
Our understanding of why good hearing is crucial is expanding all the time, thanks to the work of researchers. Hearing is important for maintaining brain function since it encourages people to keep doing things. Hearing has been found to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia by keeping the brain active.
Even when we are unconscious, our hearing is still functioning normally. Because of this, we can be roused from sleep by an alarm or even a quiet voice. In this respect, it’s highly practical to protect us from harm. This emphasises the significance of hearing our forefathers and mothers.