HEARING TIPS

Hearing Loss Hampers More Than Just Your Ears

Hearing loss depicted as a problem that compounds by showing several cutout men toppled over on one man.

Are you surprised to learn that hearing loss is more than just your ears? Ears are the method 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 aspects of their life. It’s a dramatic change for somebody who has always had the ability to hear. Consider some ways that hearing loss has a profound impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Ability

A 2006 report published by the Australian firm Access Economics states there is a link between salary potential and hearing. They found 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 with no hearing assistance device like a hearing aid might miss out on weighty material. They may show up for a company meeting at 4 when it was really at 2 pm, for instance. Employers tend to appreciate those with astute attention to detail, which is a challenge when you can’t hear the details.

Working environments can be noisy and chaotic, too. A individual with hearing loss can become confused with all that sound around them. They will struggle to speak on the phone, to listen to customers and to understand what colleagues are saying because in a loud environment the background sounds like clicking keyboards or an air conditioner vent become conspicuous.

Relationships

Some of the 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 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 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 prevent 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 found a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and depression. Their study indicates an increased risk of depression, particularly among women 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 individual with hearing loss doesn’t use hearing aids. The study participants who didn’t wear hearing aids reported everything from feelings of despair to sudden fits of anger more often than those that did wear them.

Safety Issues

Security is always a concern for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, whether it is 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 trouble hearing high pitched tones.

Personal security becomes a problem 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 road or a horn honking.

Cognitive Functioning

Medical science has made a connection 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 discovered that someone 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 forms of dementia. Hearing health is just 1 factor in memory loss conditions, but it is an important one.

When a person has hearing loss, it is 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 kind of hearing aids and other treatment options reduces the chance of mental health issues, dementia and the different issues related to hearing decline.

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