HEARING TIPS

Hearing Loss Influences 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 surprised to learn that hearing loss is about more than just your ears? Ears are the method of hearing, so the damage done to them because of aging, injury or illness is why someone can’t hear, but did you know there is more to it than the loss of a person’s hearing bleeds into a number of other facets of their life. It’s a dramatic change for someone who has always been able to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a profound effect on more than just the ears.

Earning Ability

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 those that do listen, but why?

There are a lot of things that could impact earnings. Someone who works without any hearing assistance device like a hearing aid might miss out on weighty material. They might show up for a business meeting at 4 when it was actually at 2 pm, for example. Managers tend to value those with astute attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can’t hear the details.

Working environments can be loud and chaotic, too. A person with hearing loss can quickly become confused with 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 loud environment the background sounds like clicking keyboards or an air conditioner engine 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 like 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 individual to recognize their hearing loss, which leads to friction, also. It is very common for people with hearing loss to detach themselves and refuse to go out and spend some time with other people. They struggle to keep up with conversations, so that 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 melancholy. Their study indicates an increased risk of depression, especially among girls and individuals under the age of 70. Their risk of depression goes from 5 percent to about 11 percent with hearing loss.

A second study from the Senior Research Group indicates that the chance of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a person 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 who did wear them.

Safety Issues

Security 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 sound. They emit a high-frequency noise when there is a danger. Even people with minor hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.

Personal safety becomes a problem 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 road or a horn honking.

Cognitive Functioning

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 listen and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like memory.

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered 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 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 likely something wrong with their ears, but that’s just where it begins. The fantastic news is that getting help in the form of hearing aids and other treatment choices lowers the risk of mental health problems, dementia and the different issues associated with hearing decline.

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