HEARING TIPS

Hearing Loss Inhibits 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 amazed to learn that hearing loss is about more than just your ears? Ears are the means of hearing, so the harm done to them due to aging, trauma or disease is why someone can not hear, but did you know there’s more to it than that 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 profound impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Capability

A 2006 report published by the Australian company Access Economics states there’s a link 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 like a hearing aid might miss out on crucial material. They may appear for a company meeting at 4 when it was really at 2 pm, for instance. Employers 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 noisy and chaotic, too. A individual with hearing loss can quickly become confused with all that sound 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 clacking keyboards or an air conditioner engine become pronounced.

Relationships

Some of the same problems at work become an issue 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 conversations and turning the TV up too loud irritate friends, relatives, and spouses.

They may attempt to intervene and encourage this individual to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, also. 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 issues 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 discovered a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and depression. Their research 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 about 11 percent with hearing loss.

A second study from 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 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 frequently than those that did wear them.

Safety Issues

Security 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 is a danger. Even people with slight hearing loss can have trouble hearing high pitched tones.

Personal security becomes an issue when a individual with hearing loss crosses the street 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’s not clear why people with hearing loss have a higher risk of dementia. The current theory is that the mind struggles to hear and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like short-term memory.

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered 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 someone has hearing loss, it is true there’s probably something wrong with their ears, but that’s just where it starts. The good news is that getting help in the kind of hearing aids and other treatment choices lowers the chance of mental health problems, dementia and the various issues associated with hearing decline.

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