Hearing Aids by Tricia Leagjeld - Redmond, OR

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 mechanisms of hearing, so the harm done to them because of aging, injury or disease is why someone can’t hear, but did you know there’s more to it than that The loss of one’s hearing bleeds into a number of other facets of their life. It’s a dramatic change for someone who has always had the ability to hear. Consider some ways that hearing loss has a profound effect on more than just the ears.

Earning Potential

A 2006 report released by the Australian firm Access Economics states there is a connection between earning 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. Someone who works with no hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid might miss out on serious material. They might appear for a business meeting at 4 if it was really at 2 pm, for example. 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 loud and crazy, too. A individual with hearing loss can quickly 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 desktop sounds like clacking 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, 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, relatives, and spouses.

They may try 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 they so what the can to avoid them.

Mental Health Concerns

The issues 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 discovered a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and depression. Their research suggests 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 by the Senior Research Group suggests that the risk of mental health problems 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 despair to sudden fits of anger more often than those who did wear them.

Safety Issues

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

Personal safety becomes a problem when a person 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 brain struggles to listen and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like short-term 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 someone has hearing loss, it is true there’s likely something wrong with their ears, but that’s just where it begins. The fantastic news is that getting help in the kind 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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