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 illness is why someone can not hear, but did you know there is more to it than the loss of one’s hearing bleeds into a number of other facets 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 extensive impact on more than just the ears.
A 2006 report published by the Australian firm Access Economics states there’s a link between salary potential and hearing. They discovered that an individual with hearing loss will potentially make about 25 percent less than the ones that do listen, but why?
There are a lot of things that could affect earnings. Somebody who works with no hearing assistance device like a hearing aid may miss out on weighty information. They may show up for a company meeting at 4 when it was really at 2 pm, for example. Employers tend to value those with astute attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can not hear the details.
Work environments can be loud and chaotic, too. A individual with hearing loss can quickly become confused with all that sound around them. They’ll struggle to talk on the telephone, to listen to customers and to understand what coworkers are saying because in a loud environment the desktop sounds like clacking keyboards or an air conditioner engine become conspicuous.
Some of the very same problems at work become a problem at home. Hearing loss has the potential to cause conflict, particularly when the person 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 attempt to intervene and encourage this individual to recognize their hearing loss, which leads to friction, as well. It is extremely common for people with hearing loss to sequester themselves and refuse to go out and spend 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 found a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and depression. Their research suggests an increased risk of depression, especially among women and people 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 often than those who did wear them.
Safety is always an issue for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, whether 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 security becomes a problem when a person with hearing loss crosses the road or drives a car, too. Sound serves to indicate problems like a car coming down the road 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 hear and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like short-term memory.
A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine found that even someone 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 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 begins. The good news is that getting help in the form of hearing aids and other treatment options lowers the risk of mental health problems, dementia and the different issues related to hearing decline.