Are you amazed to learn that hearing loss is more than just your ears? Ears are the mechanisms of hearing, so the harm done to them because of aging, trauma or disease is why someone can’t hear, but did you know there is more to it than the loss of one’s hearing bleeds into many other aspects of their life. It is a dramatic change for someone who has always had the ability to hear. Consider some ways that hearing loss has a significant effect on more than just the ears.
A 2006 report published by the Australian company Access Economics states there is a link between earning potential and hearing. They found that an individual with hearing loss could possibly make about 25 percent less than the ones 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 might miss out on serious material. They might show up for a company meeting at 4 if it was actually at 2 pm, for example. Employers tend to appreciate those with astute attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can’t hear the specifics.
Work environments can be loud and crazy, too. A individual with hearing loss can quickly become confused with that noise around them. They will struggle to speak on the phone, 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 motor become conspicuous.
Some of the same problems at work become a problem at home. Hearing loss has the potential to cause conflict, particularly when the individual with the problem continues to deny it. Little things such as saying “what” a lot during discussions and turning the TV up too loud irritate friends, family members, and spouses.
They may attempt to intervene and encourage this individual to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, also. It is very common for someone with hearing loss to detach 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 avoid 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 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 about 11 percent with hearing loss.
A second study by the Senior Research Group indicates that the chance of mental health problems including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a individual with hearing loss doesn’t 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 who did wear them.
Security is always a concern for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, whether it’s a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alert, work based on sound. They emit a high-frequency noise when there is a danger. Even people with slight hearing loss can have trouble hearing high pitched tones.
Personal security becomes a problem when a person with hearing loss spans the road or drives a car, too. Sound serves to signal problems like a car coming down the road or a horn honking.
Medical science has made a connection 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 mind struggles to listen and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like memory.
A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered that even someone 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 have 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 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 form of hearing aids and other treatment choices lowers the chance of mental health problems, dementia and the various issues related to hearing decline.