Are you amazed to learn that hearing loss is more than just your ears? Ears are the tools of hearing, so the damage done to them due to aging, injury or illness is why someone can not hear, but did you know there’s more to it than that The loss of a person’s hearing bleeds into many other facets 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 significant effect on more than just the ears.
A 2006 report published by the Australian company Access Economics states there is a connection between salary potential and hearing. They found that an individual with hearing loss will potentially make about 25 percent less than the ones that do hear, but why?
There are many things that could affect earnings. Someone who works with no hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid might miss out on serious material. They may show up for a company meeting at 4 when it was really at 2 pm, for instance. Managers tend to appreciate those with shrewd attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can not hear the specifics.
Working environments can be noisy and crazy, too. A person with hearing loss can become confused with that sound around them. They will struggle to speak on the phone, to listen to customers and to understand what coworkers are saying because in a noisy environment the background sounds like clacking keyboards or an air conditioner motor become conspicuous.
Some of the same problems at work become an issue 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, family members, and spouses.
They may try 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 they so what the can to prevent them.
Mental Health Concerns
The problems at work and home take a toll on mental health over time. A 2014 study performed 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, especially 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 suggests that the risk of mental health problems including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a person 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 often than those that did wear them.
Safety is always a concern 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 emit a high-frequency noise if there’s a danger. Even people with slight hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.
Personal safety becomes a problem when a person with hearing loss spans the street 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 brain struggles to listen and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like short-term 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 have 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 someone has hearing loss, it’s true there’s 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 reduces the chance of mental health problems, dementia and the various issues associated with hearing decline.