HEARING TIPS

Hearing Loss Effects 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 mechanisms 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 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 profound impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Capability

A 2006 report released by the Australian company Access Economics states there is a link between earning potential and hearing. They discovered that an individual with hearing loss will possibly make about 25 percent less than the ones that do hear, but why?

There are a lot of things that could impact earnings. Someone who works with no hearing assistance device like a hearing aid may miss out on weighty information. They might appear for a company meeting at 4 if it was actually at 2 pm, for example. Managers tend to appreciate those with keen attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can not hear the details.

Work environments can be noisy and crazy, 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 motor 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 try 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 detach themselves and refuse to go out and spend some time with others. They struggle to keep up with conversations, so that they so what the can to avoid them.

Mental Health Concerns

The problems 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 depression. Their research indicates an increased risk of depression, particularly 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 from the Senior Research Group indicates that the risk of mental health problems 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 sadness to sudden fits of anger more often than those that did wear them.

Safety Issues

Security is always an issue for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, whether it is a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alarm, work based on noise. They exude a high-frequency noise when there’s a danger. Even people with slight hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.

Personal security becomes an issue when a person with hearing loss crosses the road or drives a car, too. Sound serves to indicate 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 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 short-term memory.

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered that even 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 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 is likely something wrong with their ears, but that’s just where it starts. The fantastic news is that getting help in the kind of hearing aids and other treatment choices reduces the chance of mental health issues, dementia and the different issues related to hearing decline.

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