It’s May, which means it’s Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM)! BHSM is a time when the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) joins forces with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to raise awareness about hearing and speech disorders.
This year’s theme is “Connecting People.” Having strong relationships is important for everyone, but it’s particularly crucial for people with hearing loss. Evidence shows that for every decibel drop in hearing perception in people under 70, the odds of becoming severely lonely increase by 7%.1
Loneliness Is Harmful to Your Health
Hearing loss can make it harder to communicate. Feelings of frustration may arise while trying to hold a conversation, leading many hard-of-hearing individuals to self-isolate and experience loneliness.
While loneliness may seem like no big deal, it can significantly impact your physical and mental health. Research has found that loneliness and isolation are as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day!2 Loneliness can also increase your risk of premature death, dementia and depression.3
Hearing Well Is Your Key to Connection
Maintaining your relationships enhances your overall well-being—and hearing your best is crucial for connecting with others. That’s why being proactive by getting regular hearing checkups can help you identify and treat any hearing loss sooner rather than later, which will help strengthen your social ties.
In one study of hearing device users, 85% said their hearing devices improved communication in small groups—and more than half reported that wearing hearing devices enhanced their relationships and social life.4
Don’t let hearing loss cut you off from loved ones. Reach out to us today to schedule a hearing evaluation—call the Hearing Focused team at (262) 679–8888. We offer custom ear protection, thorough audiological testing and counseling for total patient satisfaction.
1Nachtegaal, J., et. al. (2009, June 30) The association between hearing status and psychosocial health before age 70. Ear Hear. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19322094/.
2Holt-Lunstad, J., et al. (2015, March 11). Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality: A Meta-Analytic Review. Sage Journals.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1745691614568352
3Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, April 29). Loneliness and social isolation linked to serious health conditions. https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/lonely-older-adults.html#:
4The Hearing Review. (2011). BHI Survey: Hearing Aids Help Majority of Users to Regain Quality of Life. https://www.hearingreview.com/hearing-products/hearing-aids/bhi-survey-hearing-aids-help-majority-of-users-to-regain-quality-of-life