Hearing loss is a pervasive global issue, impacting around 1.6 billion people worldwide and about 40 million American adults.
But the factors such as stigma, denial, cost, and comfort concerns contribute to resistance to using hearing aids. In the United States, estimates reveal that only one in 10 individuals who require hearing aids utilize them.
A recent study indicates that these devices not only assist with hearing but also offer an additional crucial advantage—a prolonged lifespan.
Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles discovered that adults with hearing loss who regularly used hearing aids had a 24% lower mortality risk than those who never wore them.
Researchers, analyzing a decade of federal health survey data on 10,000 adults, including 1,800 with hearing loss, found a nearly 25% lower risk of early death in regular hearing aid users compared to non-users.
Prior studies linked untreated hearing loss to reduced lifespan and other health issues. However, this research addresses the gap in understanding whether hearing aids can mitigate the risks associated with hearing loss. This difference persisted even after adjusting for factors such as age, ethnicity, income, education, and medical history.
Interestingly, researchers found no significant difference in the risk of death between individuals who never used a hearing aid and those who had one but only used it occasionally.
This study is expected to inspire more people to use hearing aids, despite challenges like cost, finding the right device, or concerns about stigma.