Are you surprised to learn that hearing loss is more than just your ears? Ears are the means of hearing, so the harm 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 the loss of one’s hearing bleeds into many other aspects of their life. It’s a dramatic change for someone who has always had the ability to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a profound effect on more than just the ears.
A 2006 report released by the Australian company Access Economics states there’s a connection between salary potential and hearing. They found that an individual with hearing loss could possibly make about 25 percent less than those that do listen, but why?
There are many things that could impact earnings. Somebody who works without any hearing assistance device like a hearing aid might miss out on crucial information. They may show up for a company meeting at 4 if it was actually at 2 pm, for instance. Employers tend to appreciate those with keen attention to detail, which is a challenge when you can’t hear the details.
Work environments can be noisy and chaotic, too. A individual with hearing loss can become confused with that noise around them. They’ll struggle to talk on the phone, to listen to customers and to understand what colleagues are saying because in a noisy environment the desktop sounds like clicking 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 such as saying “what” a lot during conversations and turning the TV up too loud irritate friends, family members, and spouses.
They may attempt to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, which leads to friction, as well. It is very common for people with hearing loss to detach themselves and refuse to go out and spend time with other people. 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 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 found a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and melancholy. Their research suggests an increased risk of depression, particularly among girls and people 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 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 often than those that 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 noise. They emit a high-frequency noise if there is a danger. Even people with slight hearing loss can have trouble 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 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 isn’t clear why people with hearing loss have a higher risk of dementia. The current theory is that the mind struggles to hear 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 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 1 factor in memory loss conditions, but it is an important one.
When someone has hearing loss, it’s true there is 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 options reduces the chance of mental health issues, dementia and the different issues related to hearing decline.