When we think of hearing aids, many of us think of the big, clunky old-school ones that we perhaps saw our parents or grandparents wear. Technology has had amazing advances in the last 50 years and hearing aids have improved immeasurably. Not only are they better from a technical standpoint, they are smaller and stronger than ever before.

How our ability to hear affects our quality of life

A change of, reduction in or loss of our hearing has implications beyond what we immediately think of. Here are a number of ways it affects our quality of life:


If good communication is the basis of all things interpersonal, imagine how difficult maintaining relationships are if you don’t hear well and you don’t manage it. If we’re not able to clearly hear the people we interact with, it’s causing stress to us, to them and to the relationship.

Cognitive function

Recent studies have linked a decline in auditory capability with a decline in cognitive function, including memory retention and even Alzheimer’s and dementia.


Good hearing is critical to safety. Imagine if you hear bumps in the night or unrecognizable sounds and the fear it may cause. You may wonder if it’s “you”, when it might be a safety concern. Or worse yet, constantly feel at risk because you can’t hear well.

Listening fatigue

Believe it or not, this is exactly what it sounds like and it can greatly impact our quality of life. When we don’t hear well, we spend more energy, more cognitive resources are used. And contrary to popular opinion, cognitive resources are not unlimited.

For example, someone who has to work harder to hear may experience a lowered ability in other areas, such as memory or visual processing. And the fatigue of it all is real.

Signs I might need a hearing aid

  • People tell you that your television or radio is very loud
  • Not understanding all of a movie or documentary
  • Experiencing a challenge when you’re not able to see someone’s face
  • Having trouble understanding someone over the phone
  • Asking someone to repeat themselves in environments such as busy restaurants or where there is a lot of background noise
  • You find yourself agreeing when someone says something, but you aren’t quite sure what they said
  • There is always a “reason” you can’t hear something or someone – environmental distractions, low-talker, the volume is too low, etc.
  • If you experience ringing in the ears
  • It’s “easier” to have the close-captioning on your television
  • You regularly find yourself looking at a person’s mouth when they speak
  • If you habitually aren’t sure which direction a sound originated from
  • When hearing words that sound alike, such as “treat, street, eat, meat, greet”, etc., you have to rely on context to know what was said

Wrap Up

Of course, if you experience any of these symptoms, or are having headaches or pains in your ears, consult your physician for testing and the best treatment options. Hearing aids may indeed help and bring you back to the quality of life you deserve.

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*No information in this article is to be taken as advice, medical or otherwise. This post is not sponsored, but may contain external links to websites, articles or product examples. External links are used for example or reference purposes only and these links do not indicate specific product or website endorsement by CareGivers of America.