Recent research has found loneliness to be a growing — and troubling — health crisis, affecting more than one-third of people 45 and older. And that was before COVID-19 compelled many of us to work from home and all of us to stay socially distant.
Why is loneliness a health crisis and not simply a social issue? Because, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), loneliness and social isolation are associated with:
- A 50 percent increased risk of dementia
- Up to 45 percent increased risk of premature death
- Higher rates of depression and anxiety
One study equates their health effects with smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Hearing loss is a known contributor to feelings of loneliness and social isolation. And it makes sense. Humans are social creatures, and if communication becomes challenging, those with hearing loss may choose to minimize interactions, opt out of invitations, and hunker down at home, alone.
So it’s not surprising that experts think treating hearing loss can help with loneliness, and obviously hearing aids are key to that. Especially today’s hearing aids, which not only make hearing easier, but can connect us to friends and family through our smartphones, and help motivate us to be more physically and socially active.
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