Are you surprised to learn that hearing loss is more than just your ears? Ears are the method of hearing, so the damage done to them due to aging, injury or illness is why someone can not hear, but did you know there is more to it than 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 had the ability to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a profound impact on more than just the ears.
A 2006 report released by the Australian firm Access Economics states there’s a link between salary potential and hearing. They found that an individual with hearing loss will possibly make about 25 percent less than those that do hear, but why?
There are a lot of things that could affect earnings. Someone who works without any hearing assistance device like a hearing aid might miss out on crucial information. They might show up for a business meeting at 4 if it was actually at 2 pm, for example. Managers tend to value those with astute attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can’t hear the details.
Working environments can be loud and chaotic, too. A person with hearing loss can become confused with that sound around them. They’ll struggle to talk on the telephone, to listen to customers and to understand what colleagues are saying because in a noisy environment the desktop sounds like clacking keyboards or an air conditioner engine become pronounced.
Some of the same problems at work become an issue at home. Hearing loss has the potential to cause conflict, especially 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, family members, and spouses.
They may try to intervene and encourage this individual to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, as well. It’s very common for someone with hearing loss to isolate themselves and refuse to go out and spend time with others. They struggle to keep up with conversations, so they so what the can to prevent them.
Mental Health Concerns
The problems at work and home take a toll on mental health over time. A 2014 study performed by the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders found a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and melancholy. Their study suggests an increased risk of depression, especially among girls and individuals under the age of 70. Their risk of depression goes from 5 percent to about 11 percent with hearing loss.
A second study from the Senior Research Group suggests that the risk of mental health problems 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 sadness to sudden fits of anger more frequently than those that did wear them.
Safety is always an issue for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, whether it is 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 minor hearing loss can have trouble hearing high pitched tones.
Personal safety becomes an issue when a person with hearing loss crosses the street or drives a car, too. Sound serves to signal problems like a car coming down the street or a horn honking.
Medical science has made a link between cognitive decline and hearing loss. It’s not clear why people with hearing loss have a greater risk of dementia. The current theory is that the brain struggles to listen and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like memory.
A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered 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 a person with severe hearing impairment is five times more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Hearing health is just one factor in memory loss conditions, but it’s an important one.
When a person has hearing loss, it’s true there is probably 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 lowers the risk of mental health problems, dementia and the different issues associated with hearing decline.