Hearing Loss Hinders More Than Just Your Ears
Are you amazed to learn that hearing loss is about more than just your ears? Ears are the tools of hearing, so the damage done to them because of aging, injury or illness is why someone can’t hear, but did you know there is more to it than the loss of a person’s hearing bleeds into many other aspects of their life. It’s a dramatic change for somebody who has always been able to hear. Consider some ways that hearing loss has a profound effect on more than just the ears.
A 2006 report published by the Australian company Access Economics states there’s a link between salary potential and hearing. They discovered that an individual with hearing loss could potentially make about 25 percent less than those that do listen, but why?
There are a lot of things that could affect earnings. Someone who works with no hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid might miss out on serious material. They might show up for a business meeting at 4 if it was really at 2 pm, for example. Managers tend to appreciate those with keen attention to detail, which is a challenge when you can not hear the details.
Working environments can be noisy and crazy, too. A individual with hearing loss can become confused with all that noise around them. They’ll struggle to speak on the phone, to listen to customers and to understand what coworkers are saying because in a noisy environment the background sounds like clacking keyboards or an air conditioner vent become pronounced.
Some of the same problems at work become an issue at home. Hearing loss has the potential to cause conflict, particularly when the individual with the problem continues to deny it. Little things like saying “what” a lot during conversations and turning the TV up too loud irritate friends, relatives, and spouses.
They may attempt to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, which leads to friction, also. It is very common for people with hearing loss to isolate themselves and refuse to go out and spend some time with others. They struggle to keep up with conversations, so that they so what the can to prevent them.
Mental Health Concerns
The issues at work and house take a toll on mental health over time. A 2014 study conducted by the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders found a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and melancholy. Their research suggests an increased risk of depression, especially among women and people under the age of 70. Their risk of depression goes from 5 percent to approximately 11 percent with hearing loss.
A second study from the Senior Research Group suggests that the chance of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a person with hearing loss doesn’t use hearing aids. The study participants who did not wear hearing aids reported everything from feelings of despair to sudden fits of anger more often than those who did wear them.
Security is always an issue for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, whether it’s a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alert, work based on noise. They emit a high-frequency noise if there is a danger. Even people with slight hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.
Personal safety becomes an issue when a individual with hearing loss spans the road or drives a car, too. Sound serves to indicate problems like a car coming down the street or a horn honking.
Medical science has made a connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss. It isn’t clear why people with hearing loss have a higher risk of dementia. The current theory is that the mind struggles to listen and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like memory.
A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine found that even a person with minor hearing loss is twice as likely to develop dementia. Moderate hearing loss increases the risk by three times and an individual with severe hearing impairment is five times more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Hearing health is just one factor in memory loss conditions, but it’s an important one.
When someone has hearing loss, it is true there is likely something wrong with their ears, but that’s just where it begins. The fantastic news is that getting help in the kind of hearing aids and other treatment choices reduces the chance of mental health problems, dementia and the various issues associated with hearing decline.