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 due to aging, trauma or disease 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 somebody who has always been able to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a extensive impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Potential

A 2006 report published by the Australian company Access Economics states there is a connection between salary potential and hearing. They discovered 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 impact earnings. Somebody who works with no hearing assistance device like a hearing aid might miss out on weighty information. They may show up for a business meeting at 4 when it was really at 2 pm, for instance. Employers tend to appreciate those with shrewd attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can’t hear the specifics.

Working environments can be noisy and chaotic, too. A person with hearing loss can become confused with all that noise around them. They will struggle to speak on the phone, to listen to clients and to understand what colleagues are saying because in a noisy environment the background sounds like clicking keyboards or an air conditioner motor become conspicuous.

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 such as saying “what” a lot during discussions and turning the TV up too loud irritate friends, relatives, and spouses.

They may try to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, as well. It’s extremely common for someone with hearing loss to isolate themselves and refuse to go out and spend time with others. They struggle to keep up with conversations, so that they so what the can to avoid them.

Mental Health Concerns

The issues 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 found a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and depression. Their study 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 suggests that the risk 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 sadness to sudden fits of anger more frequently than those that did wear them.

Safety Issues

Safety is always an issue 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 when there is a danger. Even people with minor hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.

Personal security becomes a problem when a person with hearing loss spans the road or drives a car, too. Sound serves to signal 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’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 an individual with severe hearing impairment is five times more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Hearing health is just one factor in memory loss conditions, but it is an important one.

When someone 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 form of hearing aids and other treatment choices lowers the chance of mental health issues, dementia and the different issues associated with hearing decline.

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