HEARING TIPS

Hearing Loss Restricts More Than Just Your Hearing

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

Are you taken aback to learn that hearing loss is about more than just your ears? Ears are the tools of hearing, so the harm done to them because of aging, trauma or disease is why someone can’t hear, but did you know there’s 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 been able to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a profound effect on more than just the ears.

Earning Potential

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 potentially make about 25 percent less than the ones that do listen, but why?

There are a lot of things that could impact earnings. Someone who works without any hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid might miss out on serious material. They may appear for a business meeting at 4 when it was actually at 2 pm, for example. Managers tend to value those with shrewd attention to detail, which is a challenge when you can’t hear the specifics.

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

Relationships

Some of the very same problems at work become a problem at home. Hearing loss has the potential to cause conflict, especially 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 attempt to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, also. It’s extremely common for people with hearing loss to isolate 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 prevent them.

Mental Health Concerns

The issues at work and house 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 study suggests an increased risk of depression, particularly among girls 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 indicates that the chance 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 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 slight hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.

Personal safety becomes an issue when a individual 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.

Cognitive Functioning

Medical science has made a connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss. It’s not 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 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 forms 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 likely 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 lowers the chance of mental health problems, dementia and the different issues related to hearing decline.

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