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 means of hearing, so the damage done to them due to aging, trauma or illness is why someone can’t hear, but did you know there is more to it than that The loss of a person’s hearing bleeds into a number of other facets of their life. It is a dramatic change for somebody who has always had the ability to hear. Consider some ways that hearing loss has a extensive impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Ability

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 potentially make about 25 percent less than those that do listen, but why?

There are many things that could affect earnings. Somebody who works without any hearing assistance device like a hearing aid may miss out on weighty material. They might show up for a business meeting at 4 if it was actually at 2 pm, for example. Managers tend to appreciate those with astute attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can not hear the details.

Working environments can be noisy and crazy, too. A individual with hearing loss can become confused with that sound around them. They will struggle to talk on the phone, to listen to customers and to understand what colleagues are saying because in a loud environment the background sounds like clicking 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, family members, and spouses.

They may attempt to intervene and encourage this individual to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, as well. It is very common for someone 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 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 discovered a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and melancholy. Their study suggests an increased risk of depression, especially among women 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 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 despair to sudden fits of anger more frequently than those that did wear them.

Safety Issues

Security 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 sound. They exude 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 individual with hearing loss spans 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 link between cognitive decline and hearing loss. It isn’t clear why people with hearing loss have a greater risk of dementia. The current theory is that the mind struggles to listen and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like 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 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 a person has hearing loss, it is true there’s likely something wrong with their ears, but that’s just where it begins. The good news is that getting help in the kind of hearing aids and other treatment choices lowers the chance of mental health problems, dementia and the different issues related to hearing decline.

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