Prior to 1999, there were very few research studies on the effects of hearing loss, and the few that did exist were small and mostly consisted of males and service veterans. While there were many references to the personal impact of hearing loss in text books and articles, there was not a body of evidence to support these claims. Over the last decade, more large scale studies have been conducted with very clear findings.    
  The first of these was the landmark study of people over age 50 commissioned by the National Council on the Aging (NCOA). In that survey, 2069 hearing impaired individuals and 1710 of their family members participated from all around the country. This complex study included controls for people who use hearing aids and those who do not, and many of the findings for the 16 quality of life parameters held up across all degrees of hearing loss. Results were also consistent with other correlational and randomized control studies, literature on factors impacting hearing loss, and the observations of audiologists and hearing instrument specialists in the course of working with individuals with hearing loss and their families.    
  The overall results of this study clearly demonstrated that hearing loss is associated with physical, emotional, mental and social well-being.  
      Isn't it better to hear well with both ears?

  Depression, anxiety, emotional instability, phobias, withdrawal, isolation, lessened health status and lessened self-esteem are not just aesthetic issues. For many people, uncorrected hearing loss is a serious condition affecting their ability to function successfully in life.    
  In a later survey conducted in 2005 and reported by Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., researchers attempted to quantify the relationship between treated and untreated hearing loss and income.    

  The results showed that, on-average, hearing loss was shown to negatively impact household income up to $12,000 per year depending on the degree of hearing loss (greater hearing loss = greater loss of income). Use of hearing aids was shown to mitigate the effect of hearing loss by 50%. Hearing is a critical sense for effective communication in the workforce as most employment settings require verbal communication in order to effectively engage in commerce and in dealing with the public. The person with untreated hearing loss can be expected to have lower income based on higher rates of unemployment, underemployment, mistakes on the job, and experience an overall reduction in quality of life (see above paragraph) which negatively impact job performance.  
    Clearly, hearing loss has been shown to negatively impact nearly every dimension of the human experience including physical health, emotional and mental health, perception of mental acuity, social skills, family relationships, self-esteem, and work and school performance. When we speak of “quality of life”, healthy hearing is much more than enhancing the aesthetic pleasures of sounds in a person’s environment.  

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