October is National Audiology Awareness Month. This is a great time to celebrate the work of audiologists, the healthcare professionals who help their patients diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss.

In celebration of this yearly benchmark, we’d like to share five surprising facts about hearing aids — and how they could transform your quality of life, and your mental and physical health.

Hearing aids have shown promise in the management of tinnitus, a common phenomenon where one person perceives a persistent sound that nobody else can hear.

Tinnitus is a symptom and not a standalone condition, and while it’s often described as a ringing sound, some report other noises — such as a click, buzz, squeal or hum.

Recent research has shown that…

  • As many as 25% of adults have tinnitus1
  • Children may also present with tinnitus1
  • And up to 90% of people with tinnitus also have hearing loss2

Given its connection to hearing, it might not surprise you that hearing aids are one of the most common treatment protocols for tinnitus1.

Hearing aids address this symptom by amplifying external sounds and making tinnitus less prominent or noticeable. Recent studies have shown that up to 68% of people who wear hearing aids for this reason report positive results3.

Hearing loss has related to feelings of loneliness, social isolation and depression as well as a generally low mood4.

The impact of even mild to moderate hearing loss can add up over time and leave some of us feeling less than ideal. But don’t worry. We have some hopeful news.

Hearing aids are a great tool for minimizing and managing the social and emotional hurdles that appear alongside hearing loss — and patients with hearing loss who use them report a lower level of psychological distress than those who don’t5.

A simple fall is generally a minor issue for young people but a trip, slip or tumble can become a serious hazard for older adults6.

Studies have shown that…

  • About 20% of older adult falls result in serious injury7
  • The overwhelming majority of hip fractures are caused by a fall8
  • And in the US, more than 300,000 hip fractures occur each year9

While these numbers may seem discouraging — especially as we get older — we do have evidence to indicate that for those of us with hearing loss, hearing aids could reduce the risk of falls10.

As we mentioned in our post covering hearing loss, Alzheimer’s and dementia, hearing aids have shown potential in minimizing the memory problems that appear as we get older.

Recent studies have shown that…

  • Hearing loss is more prevalent in adults with dementia11
  • The overall risk of dementia decreases with hearing aid use12
  • And adults with high risk of dementia may have the opportunity to slow cognitive decline by wearing hearing aids13

While the exact reason for this connection isn’t clear, we have strong evidence to suggest that adequate hearing support can change our experience of aging and improve our quality of life.

When your hearing isn’t at a hundred percent, navigating daily life and straining to hear in conversations can become exhausting.

Over time, the extra effort expended tends to add up and for some, fatigue may set in14.

While results have varied, some studies suggest that fatigue is lower in patients who manage their hearing loss with hearing aids. We also have significant evidence that hearing aids reduce what experts call listening fatigue — or the sense of exhaustion that occurs when we’re constantly straining to hear15.

Clearly, the work of audiologists is crucial, and these professionals transform patient lives in more ways than one.

If you think you could benefit from hearing support, you can consult with your doctor or audiologist to explore your best options, and find out if you’re a fit for conventional or OTC hearing devices.



1.      NIDCD (2023, May 1). Tinnitus. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Retrieved October 10, 2023, from https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/tinnitus

2.      Sedley W. (2019). Tinnitus: Does Gain Explain?. Neuroscience, 407, 213–228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.01.027


3.      Jacquemin, L., Gilles, A., & Shekhawat, G. S. (2022). Hearing more to hear less: a scoping review of hearing aids for tinnitus relief. International journal of audiology, 61(11), 887–895. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2021.2007423

4.      Shukla, A., Harper, M., Pedersen, E., Goman, A., Suen, J. J., Price, C., Applebaum, J., Hoyer, M., Lin, F. R., & Reed, N. S. (2020). Hearing Loss, Loneliness, and Social Isolation: A Systematic Review. Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 162(5), 622–633. https://doi.org/10.1177/0194599820910377

5.      Bigelow, R. T., Reed, N. S., Brewster, K. K., Huang, A., Rebok, G., Rutherford, B. R., & Lin, F. R. (2020). Association of Hearing Loss With Psychological Distress and Utilization of Mental Health Services Among Adults in the United States. JAMA network open, 3(7), e2010986. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.10986

6.      WHO (2021, April 26). Falls. World Health Organization. Retrieved October 10, 2023, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/falls

7.      Vaishya, R., & Vaish, A. (2020). Falls in Older Adults are Serious. Indian journal of orthopaedics, 54(1), 69–74. https://doi.org/10.1007/s43465-019-00037-x

8.      Parkkari, J., Kannus, P., Palvanen, M., Natri, A., Vainio, J., Aho, H., Vuori, I., & Järvinen, M. (1999). Majority of hip fractures occur as a result of a fall and impact on the greater trochanter of the femur: a prospective controlled hip fracture study with 206 consecutive patients. Calcified tissue international, 65(3), 183–187  https://doi.org/10.1007/s002239900679

9.      Johns Hopkins (n.d.). Hip Fractures: Five Powerful Steps to Prevention. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved October 10, 2023, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/hip-fractures-five-powerful-steps-to-prevention

10.   Campos, L., Prochazka, A., Anderson, M., Kaizer, A., Foster, C., & Hullar, T. (2023). Consistent hearing aid use is associated with lower fall prevalence and risk in older adults with hearing loss. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 71(10), 3163–3171. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.18461

11.   Liu, C. M., & Lee, C. T. (2019). Association of Hearing Loss With Dementia. JAMA network open, 2(7), e198112. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.8112


12.   The Lancet (2017, July 20). Risk factors for dementia. Retrieved September 21, 2023, from https://www.thelancet.com/infographics-do/dementia-risk


13.   NIH (2023, August 8). Hearing aids slow cognitive decline in people at high risk. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved October 10, 2023, from https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/hearing-aids-slow-cognitive-decline-people-high-risk#:~:text=Hearing%20aids%20reduced%20the%20rate,of%20dementia%20in%20vulnerable%20populations


14.   Holman, J. A., Hornsby, B. W. Y., Bess, F. H., & Naylor, G. (2021). Can listening-related fatigue influence well-being? Examining associations between hearing loss, fatigue, activity levels and well-being. International journal of audiology, 60(sup2), 47–59. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2020.1853261

15.   Holman, J. A., Drummond, A., & Naylor, G. (2021). Hearing Aids Reduce Daily-Life Fatigue and Increase Social Activity: A Longitudinal Study. Trends in hearing, 25, 23312165211052786. https://doi.org/10.1177/23312165211052786

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