Lower your risk for falls: The structures in your inner ear help control your balance. If you’re living with untreated hearing loss, you may experience problems such as dizziness, disorientation, staggering and lightheadedness. Because your ears help control your body’s equilibrium, addressing your hearing loss can help you recover your balance and reduce your risk for falls that may cause bone fractures and breaks.
Support cognitive function: An active brain is a healthy brain. Hearing loss deprives your brain of auditory stimulation, causing it to repurpose your auditory cortex for other functions like sight. Reduced brain activity increases your risk for cognitive decline and impairs memory formation and problem-solving skills. Treating hearing loss reduces your risk of developing dementia and maintains your current brain function.
Improve relationships: Improving your hearing also improves your ability to communicate and connect with family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. It’s common to withdraw from social situations when you have hearing loss. You may feel embarrassed to ask others to repeat themselves or decide to forgo attending gatherings altogether. When you give yourself the gift of hearing, you don’t have to miss out on social interactions.
Save on expenses: Seeking early treatment for hearing loss will help you save money down the road. Treating mild hearing loss requires less financial investment because waiting to seek treatment may result in costly procedures and technology. Hearing aids come in different styles at various prices points, so you can find devices to suit your needs and budget.
Talk to Your Loved One About Their Hearing Loss
If you don’t have hearing loss, you can still give the gift of hearing to someone you love. Discussing your loved one’s hearing can be difficult. Your mom or dad may feel embarrassed or angry when confronted about their hearing loss, so allow them to express their thoughts and feelings.
Talk with your loved one about the hearing loss symptoms you’ve noticed, such as:
- Frequently asking others to speak up or repeat themselves during a conversation
- Turning up the volume on the TV
- Missing a ringing phone or a knock at the door
- Avoiding social situations
It’s important to be supportive. Suggest attending audiology appointments together or getting your hearing tested with them. Discuss the benefits of wearing hearing aids and how treating their hearing loss will improve their overall quality of life.
Covering the Cost of Hearing Aids
Your loved one may be concerned about the cost of hearing devices, but there are financing options to reduce the overall expense.
Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) cover the cost of hearing aids and medical expenses associated with their maintenance. FSA funds don’t roll over each year, so it’s important to use those funds before they’re gone.