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 due to aging, trauma or disease is why someone can’t hear, but did you know there’s more to it than the loss of one’s hearing bleeds into many other aspects of their life. It is a dramatic change for somebody who has always been able to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a extensive impact on more than just the ears.
A 2006 report released by the Australian company Access Economics states there’s 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 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 may miss out on crucial information. They may appear for a company meeting at 4 if it was actually at 2 pm, for example. Managers tend to appreciate those with astute attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can’t hear the specifics.
Working environments can be noisy and chaotic, too. A person with hearing loss can become confused with that sound around them. They will struggle to speak on the telephone, to listen to customers and to understand what colleagues are saying because in a noisy environment the background sounds like clicking keyboards or an air conditioner vent become pronounced.
Some of the very 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, family members, and spouses.
They may try to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, which leads to friction, also. It’s extremely common for someone with hearing loss to isolate 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 house take a toll on mental health over time. A 2014 study performed by the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders discovered a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and melancholy. Their study suggests an increased risk of depression, particularly among girls 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 chance 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 despair to sudden fits of anger more often than those that did wear them.
Security is always an issue for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, while it’s a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alert, work based on sound. They exude a high-frequency noise if there’s a danger. Even people with minor hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.
Personal safety becomes an issue when a individual with hearing loss spans 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 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 have 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 is true there is likely something wrong with their ears, but that’s just where it begins. The good news is that getting help in the kind of hearing aids and other treatment choices lowers the chance of mental health problems, dementia and the different issues related to hearing decline.