Audiology Associates of Westchester - White Plains, NY

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 more than just your ears? Ears are the tools of hearing, so the harm done to them due to aging, injury or illness is why someone can’t hear, but did you know there is more to it than that The loss of one’s hearing bleeds into many 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 significant 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 could possibly make about 25 percent less than those that do hear, but why?

There are a lot of things that could impact earnings. Someone who works with no hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid may miss out on serious material. They might show up for a business meeting at 4 when it was really at 2 pm, for instance. Employers tend to value those with shrewd attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can’t hear the specifics.

Work environments can be loud and crazy, too. A individual with hearing loss can become confused with all that noise around them. They will struggle to speak on the telephone, to listen to customers and to understand what colleagues are saying because in a loud environment the desktop sounds like clicking 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 person to recognize their hearing loss, which leads to friction, as well. It’s very 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 they so what the can to prevent them.

Mental Health Concerns

The problems at work and house take a toll on mental health over time. A 2014 study performed 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 suggests an increased risk of depression, especially among women 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 suggests that the chance of mental health problems including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a individual 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

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

Personal security 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 link 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 mind struggles to listen and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like short-term memory.

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine found 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 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’s probably 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 reduces the chance of mental health issues, dementia and the various issues associated with hearing decline.

Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today