Mental health and strong cognitive functionality is vitally important to our well being, and never more so in 2020 with enforced lock down and since then, reduced social gatherings. Communicating with friends and family, by phone or technology like Zoom, has become more popular than ever.
Hearing aids help you stay connected to the most important people in your life. If you suffer from hearing loss, they are vitally important to help you fully interact in all types of social circumstances.
But hearing aids do much more than enrich your social life. They can have a profound impact on your brain by keeping you mentally sharp, lowering your risk of depression, and improving your well-being.
Furthermore, several studies have linked untreated hearing loss to an increased risk of developing dementia and reduced cognitive functioning. It can involve problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes.
Estimates and studies vary, but a rough rule of thumb is that only 20% of people that suffer from hearing loss have, or regularly use, hearing aids.
Previous Nantwich Heating Centre articles have covered topics such as smart/digital hearing aids and how small modern hearing aids are, but hearing aids also provide a number of clinically proven benefits for wearers including improved mental agility, decreased listening effort and improved cognitive function.
Simply put, they can help your brain function better, helping general mental alertness and reducing the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
Here are some factors, backed by medical studies, that you should find interesting:
- Wearing a hearing aid has a positive impact on your mental health
Studies have discovered that people who chose to wear hearing aids reported lower levels of depression and showed fewer outward signs of being depressed. They also found that people with hearing aids showed greater emotional stability and their families reported that they were less likely to become angry or frustrated. Overall, respondents who wore hearing aids felt that they had more control over their lives and a more positive outlook in general.
- Hearing aids reduces the risk of reduced cognitive functioning and developing dementia.
Studies have linked untreated hearing loss to an increased risk of developing dementia and reduced cognitive functioning. Research further supports that treating hearing loss with hearing aids may slow the cognitive decline associated with hearing loss.
Hearing aids may lower your risk of age-related cognitive decline.
- Hearing aids can improve memory and mental agility
A recent study showed that hearing aids – by minimising hearing loss – can help you remember things better, focus better and perform things faster.
- Hearing aids users report lower levels of depression
The National Council on Aging study – using 4000 participants with hearing loss (both with and without hearing aids) – found that that people with hearing aids showed greater emotional stability and their families reported that they were less likely to become angry or frustrated.
Overall, respondents who wore hearing aids felt that they had more control over their lives and a more positive outlook in general.
So, if you suffer (or think you might be) from hearing loss, hearing aids can help with your day-to-day social interaction AND potentially reduce the risk of depression and cognitive slowdown.
Nantwich Hearing Centre are pleased to offer free and no obligation hearing tests, with further advice and expertise should you require it.
Please read our keeping you safe article if you’d like to know more about our new safety measures in the light of the Covid-19 outbreak.
At Nantwich Hearing Centre the safety of our customers is always our top priority.
Like all businesses across the UK we are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and following the advice provided by UK health authorities.
Our clinic remains open and if you have an appointment with us we look forward to seeing you soon.
We have introduced a series of measures to protect our customers:
- We have extended our appointment times. This will help us to implement a 1 customer only policy and enable us to thoroughly clean down after each appointment.
- Please do not arrive early for your appointment so you do not need to wait in our reception area.
- For existing customers we will be offering follow up appointments by telephone or by remote care. If all is well with your hearing devices and you do not wish to come into the clinic we can keep in touch over the phone if you prefer.
- If you require accessories e.g. batteries, wax filters or any other ear care products and do not wish to come into the clinic we can post these out to you. We will have to make a small charge for postage. Payment can be taken over the phone.
- If your hearing devices are sent for repair, we can ask the manufacturer to send them back to you directly, if you would prefer not to collect them from the clinic.
- We are closely monitoring our own health and if any of our staff develop systems of Coronavirus they will self isolate as per government guidelines. We will contact you if this affects your appointment.
- Likewise we respectfully ask that if you develop symptoms or are generally unwell please contact us to rearrange your appointment for a future date.
This is a very challenging time for all of us and we appreciate your co-operation and understanding.
We are always on the end of the phone if you have any problems or queries.
Alan, Helen & Paula
Modern Hearing Aids – almost like a Second Brain for your Ears
Hearing Aids have generally become a lot smaller and more discreet in recent years.
They have also become a whole lot cleverer too, thanks in large part to the huge advancement in technology and communication over the last decade and now as we have entered the 2020’s. Many hearing aids now enjoy the same technological benefits as other devices, controlled remotely and effortlessly from intuitive smartphone apps.
Smart Hearing Aids
“Smart” hearing aids are the most popular and effective treatment option for low/medium or more substantial hearing loss. The automatic functionality in smart hearing aids allows users to interact with their environment naturally while the device’s algorithms sort out noise and enhance desired sound in real time.
In simple terms, the smart hearing aid will adjust real-time to the current environment and will also remember your preferences in different situations based on any manual adjustments you might make.
This means the hearing aid will learn your hearing preferences over time in a wide variety of different situations. For example, your listening preferences within a busy and noisy pub or hearing tannoy announcements at a railway station. You can choose if you prefer to minimise background noise or hear “as is”.
The smart hearing aid will recognise similar situations and adjust according to the preferences it has learnt from past experience and user history.
Wireless & Bluetooth
In today’s communication-driven society, you can have most types of audio streamed into your ears safely and without distortion. With smart hearing aids, you can synchronize all of your devices and navigate between audio sources with ease, without sacrificing discretion or audio quality.
Many hearing aids can now connect to your smartphone to enhance your overall hearing experience. This is mostly done using Bluetooth technology like many other devices, and advancements in hearing aids means this feature doesn’t drain the battery like it used to.
Here are a few of the excellent features you can use with your hearing aids in conjunction with your smartphone:
1) Phone calls direct to your hearing aids
You can ask your smartphone to stream calls direct to your hearing aids, you don’t have to even pick up your phone.
2) Music and other audio to your hearing aids
Stream your favourite songs, podcasts and even real-time driving directions from Google Maps direct to your hearing aids.
3) Adjust volume and programs without fiddling with your hearing aids directly
Use your smartphone app to increase or decrease the volume – left volume, right volume or both together. You can also switch between programs or memories set up by your audiologist.
4) Check battery status
Check the battery status and percentage of your hearing aids, see instantly how much charge remains and for how long.
5) Find lost hearing aids
Modern hearing aids are now pretty small and if you can misplace your mobile phone, you can certainly misplace your tiny hearing aids! Use the apps functionality to help you seek out and find your hearing aids.
Hearing Aid Apps – from the manufacturers
Most major hearing aid manufacturers have their own app that is designed specifically for use with your hearing aids. In order to take full advantage of the smartphone features, you will need to download the app specific to your hearing aid from the Apple App Store (for iPhones) or Google Play for (Android phones).
Bespoke Hearing Apps
In addition to apps designed specifically for hearing aids, there are many other apps that can enhance your hearing experience.
• Apps that create captions for your phone calls. This supports what you can hear from the phone call.
• Apps that capture the audio from live muted TV and play you the content. This is great for muted or quiet TVs in bars, restaurants, gyms, airports or at somebody’s house where the volume seems quiet to you.
• Apps that give alerts based on different sounds – doorbell, smoke alarms and emergency sirens.
Future articles from Nantwich Hearing Centre will examine some of our favourite features from this new technology – based on customer feedback – and we will also test and rate some of the more popular apps!
At Nantwich Hearing Centre, our friendly and expert Audiologists are more than happy to explain and demonstrate the latest hearing aids and accompanying technology. Please use our contact page to call us, make an appointment or please do just pop in and say hello!