February 16, 2012

Hearing and Self Esteem

Our senior audiologist Robert Beiny provided his views and insight to researchers commissioned by Hear the World in Swizerland to look into various aspects on how hearing affects our lives.

Study Draws Connection Between Good Hearing, Good Self-Esteem
Hearing health contributes to relationship health, overall well-being

WARRENVILLE, Ill., Feb. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — In honor of Self-Esteem Awareness Month, Hear the World, a global initiative to build awareness about the importance of good hearing by leading Swiss hearing instrument manufacturer Phonak, announced the results of its “Hearing is Living” study, illustrating the connection between good hearing health and good self-esteem.

Good Hearing = Good Mood

Investing in your hearing health is worth every penny and has self-esteem benefits. As many as 72 percent of U.S.-based respondents agree that getting a hearing aid was definitely worth it, and that their hearing aids are worth every cent. An overwhelming majority – 83 percent – of all hearing aid users surveyed agreed that their quality of life changed for the better once their hearing improved. Among all U.S.-based respondents, 76 percent with hearing aids said their devices have a positive influence on their general mood, and 68 percent report an improvement in their mental fitness, evidenced by heightened receptiveness and improved concentration.

People with untreated hearing loss also reveal the importance of good hearing for good mental health. Globally, respondents affected by moderate to severe hearing loss who did not wear a hearing aid reported feeling sad or depressed more frequently than hearing aid owners (22 percent without a hearing aid versus 15 percent with a hearing aid). Additionally, these individuals were more likely to feel insecure and anxious (21 percent without a hearing aid versus 13 percent with a hearing aid) and suffer from insomnia more often (31 percent without a hearing aid versus 24 percent with a hearing aid). These symptoms are often regarded as possible first indicators of depressive disorders.

“People with hearing loss lack some important opportunities for human contact,” said Gail B. Brenner, AuD., Hearing Technology Associates LLC, Philadelphia, PA. “The consequences of this isolation can be the development of depression and increased anxiety, but also increasing mistrust of others. While the tendency for depression among people with untreated hearing loss is significantly higher, differences between people who use hearing aids and people who have no hearing loss are marginal. This shows that a hearing aid can support the prevention of depression for people who experience hearing difficulties.”

Better Hearing = Better Love Life

Of all U.S.-based respondents who have hearing aids, 68 percent confirmed that their personal relationships improved since they started wearing hearing aids. Furthermore, almost half (44 percent) of U.S.-based respondents surveyed said that their love life had changed for the better since wearing a hearing aid.

What You Can Do

Take a free online hearing screening at www.hear-the-world.com . While this is not intended to replace a professional hearing evaluation, it will help bring awareness to your hearing health. If you wish to consult a hearing health professional, we can help you find an expert near you. Also on the site, you can see how loud your city is via the Global Sound Map, recognize symptoms of hearing loss and access experts for questions. To follow the Hear the World initiative, become a Facebook fan and follow the Twitter handle.

About the Study

The “Hearing is Living” study surveyed more than 4,300 people in the United States, Germany, France, Switzerland and Great Britain to examine the significance of hearing on a person’s quality of life. The survey, conducted by the Swiss market research and strategy consultants Zehnvier, included people with hearing aids, people with untreated hearing loss, relatives of people with hearing loss and people not affected by hearing loss, directly or indirectly.

For more on the complex and fascinating significance of hearing on self-esteem and general well-being you can find the complete study online at: www.hear-the-world.com . You can also order a hard copy of the study free of charge via [email protected].

About Hear the World

Hear the World is a global initiative launched in 2006 by leading hearing system manufacturer Phonak to raise awareness about the importance of hearing. The initiative calls attention to the social and emotional impact of hearing loss and addresses prevention of and solutions to a problem that affects more than 16 percent of the world’s population. Bryan Adams, Annie Lennox, Lenny Kravitz, Placido Domingo and other renowned personalities support the Hear the World initiative as ambassadors. In the context of the Hear the World initiative, Phonak has established the non-profit Hear the World Foundation to improve the quality of life of people with hearing loss through financial and technical assistance. The foundation is committed to the prevention of hearing loss as well as the support of people with hearing loss and their families.

Visit www.hear-the-world.com for more information. Become a fan of the initiative on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Heartheworldfoundation/ or follow the Twitter channel @hear_the_world .

SOURCE Hear the World

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