We live in a visual world in which the significance of being able to hear well is often underestimated. Our hearing is the most powerful human sensory organ, which has a huge influence on our quality of life. Here are five reasons why being able to hear well is so important and why your hearing is worth protecting.
1. Less likely to suffer from depression and dementia
Conversations quickly become a challenge when hearing is impaired: You can only hear half of what is being said, have to ask people to repeat more often, and give answers that don't match the question that was asked. As a result, those affected often retreat, feel lonely and subdued, and are more likely to suffer from depression than people with healthy hearing.3 Incidentally, untreated hearing loss also increases the risk of developing dementia.1 Hearing loss means the brain takes in less and less and thus deteriorates more quickly.2
2. For better relationships
Good communication is essential for a harmonious and happy relationship and impaired hearing can stand in the way of this. The Hear the World Foundation’s “Hören ist Leben” (“Hearing is living”) study shows that the majority of people with hearing loss had significantly improved relationships after they were treated with hearing aids. This is because people who can hear well gain self-confidence and positively flourish, which in turn leads to a more fulfilled relationships.3
3. Babies use hearing before they are born
We can already hear before we are born. Babies can hear in the womb from around the 22nd week of pregnancy. To begin with, they can detect their mother’s voice, noises in the stomach, blood circulation, and heartbeats in particular. In the later stages of pregnancy, external noises also become increasingly clearer. After birth, they recognize their mothers by their voices before they can even see them.4
4. Personal Safety
Our hearing keeps us safe by helping us to recognize dangers by their sounds. It allows us to assess the direction of a sound and makes it easier to find our way – especially in the dark when our eyes leave us in the lurch. Amazingly, our ears listen around the clock, 24 hours a day – even when we are sleeping – and alert our other senses in an emergency.
5. Keeps us physically fit
Our health is also affected by our hearing. For example, the “Hören ist Leben” study shows that more than one third of the hearing-aid-wearers who were surveyed now enjoy outdoor sports more and take family and friends with them more often. For example, around 70 percent of the respondents were convinced that their hearing aid has a positive influence on their physical health.3
Our hearing is as sensitive as it is powerful. And once our sense of hearing is damaged, your safety, relationships, and mental and physical health can be impacted. It is important to pay attention to and protect your own hearing. How well do you protect your hearing? And how well can you hear? You can test your hearing here.
1Hearing well to train your brain (Prof. Frank R. Lin/Prof. E. Sophia Krame, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, 2011)
2Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults (Prof. Frank R. Lin et al, Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health, Baltimore, 2013)
3Hearing is Living (Hear the World Foundation, 2012)
4German Source: https://www.phonak.com/de/de/hoerverlust/die-wunderbare-welt-des-hoerens/hoeren-babies-im-mutterleib.html