Hearing Loss Impedes More Than Just Your Hearing
Are you surprised 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, injury 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 salary potential and hearing. They discovered 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 affect earnings. Somebody who works without any hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid might miss out on weighty information. They may show up for a company meeting at 4 when it was actually at 2 pm, for example. Employers tend to value those with shrewd attention to detail, which is a challenge when you can not hear the specifics.
Working environments can be loud and crazy, too. A individual with hearing loss can quickly become confused with all that noise around them. They’ll struggle to talk on the telephone, to listen to customers and to understand what coworkers are saying because in a noisy environment the desktop sounds like clicking keyboards or an air conditioner engine become pronounced.
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 try to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, also. It is very common for people with hearing loss to sequester themselves and refuse to go out and spend some time with others. They struggle to keep up with conversations, so they so what the can to avoid them.
Mental Health Concerns
The problems 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 discovered a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and melancholy. Their research indicates an increased risk of depression, particularly among women 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 risk of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a person with hearing loss does not use hearing aids. The study participants who didn’t 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 when there’s a danger. Even people with slight hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.
Personal safety becomes an issue 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 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 brain struggles to hear and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like memory.
A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine found that 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 get Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Hearing health is just 1 factor in memory loss conditions, but it’s an important one.
When a person has hearing loss, it is 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 risk of mental health problems, dementia and the various issues related to hearing decline.