Hearing loss depicted as a problem that compounds by showing several cutout men toppled over on one man.

Are you taken aback to learn that hearing loss is more than just your ears? Ears are the tools of hearing, so the damage done to them because of aging, trauma or disease is why someone can not hear, but did you know there’s more to it than the loss of a person’s hearing bleeds into a number of other aspects of their life. It’s a dramatic change for someone who has always had the ability to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a extensive impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Potential

A 2006 report released by the Australian firm Access Economics states there is a link between earning potential and hearing. They discovered that an individual with hearing loss will potentially make about 25 percent less than those 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 may miss out on crucial material. They might appear for a business meeting at 4 when it was really at 2 pm, for example. Managers tend to appreciate those with keen attention to detail, which is a challenge when you can not hear the specifics.

Working environments can be loud and crazy, too. A person with hearing loss can become confused with that noise around them. They’ll struggle to talk on the phone, to listen to customers and to understand what coworkers are saying because in a loud environment the desktop 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, particularly 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, family members, and spouses.

They may attempt to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, as well. It is extremely common for someone with hearing loss to sequester 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 problems 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 found a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and melancholy. Their study indicates an increased risk of depression, especially among girls and people 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 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 often than those that did wear them.

Safety Issues

Safety 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 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 a problem when a person with hearing loss crosses the road 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 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 one factor in memory loss conditions, but it is an important one.

When a person has hearing loss, it is true there is 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 options reduces the chance of mental health problems, dementia and the different issues associated with hearing decline.

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