Treating Hearing Loss Could Improve Mobility & Quality of Life

Treating Hearing Loss Could Improve Mobility & Quality of Life

Olga Lis, MS, CCC-A

Did you know that hearing loss can take a toll on mobility? Impacting nearly 1 in 6 people, hearing loss is one of the most common health issues people experience today. Living with impaired hearing reduces one’s capacity to hear and process sound. This has multifaceted effects including straining communication which is integral to how we navigate everyday life. Strained communication impacts relationships and social connection and can lead to people isolating themselves because conversations are tough to participate in. This can reduce mobility, impact physical and mental health,as well as quality of life. 

Getting your hearing tested and treating hearing loss offers life-changing benefits. There are effective hearing solutions that not only transform hearing but overall health. This includes improving mobility and quality of life. 

Impact of Hearing Loss on Mobility 

Many studies examine how hearing impacts mobility and quality of life. Research shows that living with impaired hearing can increase the risk of social withdrawal, depressive symptoms, and reduced mobility. This includes the following studies: 

  • 2015 Study by University of Jyväskylä and the University of Tampere. Researchers in Finland looked at the link between hearing loss and mobility by assessing 848 people who were between the ages of 75-90. After two years of evaluating these participants, researchers found that people with hearing loss were more than twice as likely to limit their movements compared to people without hearing loss. This looked like going out less, spending less time with others, and reduced participating in activities. 
  • 2015 Study Published in JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery.  This study investigates the correlation between hearing loss and depressive symptoms. Researchers gathered data from 18,318 people and found that the prevalence of moderate to severe depression was: 
  • 4.9% for individuals reporting excellent hearing
  • 11.4% for people who reported a little to greater hearing loss 

This data reveals that people with hearing loss were more than twice as likely to 

experience depressive symptoms. These findings support extensive research that shows a correlation between hearing loss and depression. Depressive symptoms also take a toll on mobility and physical health. 

  • 2020 Study Published on Clear Living. This healthcare and lifestyle platform conducted a study to examine how hearing loss impacts social wellness. They did this by surveying 3,767 people. The majority of participants listed social and interpersonal issues as the greatest impact of hearing loss. Findings include:  
  • 39% of participants claimed that their conversations had declined or were harder to follow.
  • 35% struggled being out with friends in public places.

This data lists strained communication and difficulty of being out in public as major effects of hearing loss.

These studies show the ways in which mobility can become restricted as a result of hearing loss: strained communication, depressive symptoms, difficulty navigating public spaces etc.  

Treatment Improves Mobility & Quality of Life 

Fortunately, there are effective ways hearing loss is treated. Treatment improves hearing and also mobility in a number of ways. Hearing aids are the most common treatment – these are electronic devices that are designed to absorb, amplify, and process speech as well as sound. This support tremendously helps the ears and brain with hearing and processing sound. Hearing aids alleviate symptoms and maximize one’s capacity to hear. Increased ability to hear allows people to engage in conversations with greater ease. People are better able to hear and respond to others as well as participate in social activities. 

Hearing aids equip people with the support needed to navigate social settings, public spaces, and conversations more comfortably. This enables people to fully engage and be active in everyday life. It alleviates the symptoms that can often restrict mobility and encourages social engagement. Hearing aids also make it easier to spend quality time with others which improves relationships and everyday activities. This supports mobility, physical health, and quality of life. 

Prioritize Your Hearing Health 

You can prioritize your hearing health with one simple step: schedule an appointment for a hearing test. Hearing tests are painless and involve a noninvasive process that measures your hearing capacities in both ears. Getting your hearing tested regularly is a great way to track your hearing health and intervene early if you experience changes over time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation.