Are you taken aback 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, trauma or disease is why someone can not hear, but did you know there is more to it than that The loss of a person’s hearing bleeds into a number of other aspects of their life. It is a dramatic change for someone who has always been able to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a extensive effect on more than just the ears.
A 2006 report published by the Australian firm Access Economics states there is a connection between earning potential and hearing. They discovered that an individual with hearing loss will potentially make about 25 percent less than those that do listen, but why?
There are a lot of things that could impact earnings. Somebody who works with no hearing assistance device like a hearing aid may miss out on crucial information. They may appear for a business meeting at 4 if it was really at 2 pm, for instance. Employers tend to value those with keen attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can’t hear the specifics.
Work environments can be noisy and chaotic, too. A person with hearing loss can become confused with that noise around them. They will struggle to speak on the telephone, to listen to clients and to understand what coworkers are saying because in a noisy environment the background sounds like clacking keyboards or an air conditioner engine become conspicuous.
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 discussions and turning the TV up too loud irritate friends, relatives, and spouses.
They may try to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, as well. It’s extremely common for someone with hearing loss to detach themselves and refuse to go out and spend some time with other people. They struggle to keep up with conversations, so they so what the can to avoid them.
Mental Health Concerns
The issues at work and home take a toll on mental health over time. A 2014 study conducted by the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders discovered a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and depression. Their research suggests an increased risk of depression, particularly among women and individuals under the age of 70. Their risk of depression goes from 5 percent to approximately 11 percent with hearing loss.
A second study by the Senior Research Group suggests that the risk of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a individual with hearing loss does not use hearing aids. The study participants who did not wear hearing aids reported everything from feelings of despair to sudden fits of anger more frequently than those who did wear them.
Safety is always a concern for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, while it’s a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alarm, work based on noise. They exude a high-frequency noise when there is a danger. Even people with slight hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.
Personal safety becomes a problem when a individual with hearing loss spans the street 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 greater risk of dementia. The current theory is that the mind struggles to listen and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like short-term memory.
A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine found that 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 is an important one.
When someone has hearing loss, it’s true there’s probably something wrong with their ears, but that’s just where it starts. The fantastic news is that getting help in the kind of hearing aids and other treatment options lowers the risk of mental health problems, dementia and the different issues related to hearing decline.