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 mechanisms of hearing, so the damage done to them due to 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 facets of their life. It is a dramatic change for somebody who has always been able to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a significant impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Capability

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 the ones that do hear, but why?

There are a lot of things that could impact earnings. Somebody who works with no hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid might miss out on crucial material. They might show up for a business meeting at 4 when it was really at 2 pm, for instance. Managers tend to appreciate those with keen 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 quickly become confused with all that sound around them. They’ll struggle to talk on the telephone, 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 vent become pronounced.

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 individual 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 attempt to intervene and encourage this individual to recognize their hearing loss, which leads to friction, also. It’s very common for people with hearing loss to sequester themselves and refuse to go out and spend time with other people. They struggle to keep up with conversations, so that they so what the can to prevent them.

Mental Health Concerns

The problems 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 found a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and melancholy. Their research 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 from the Senior Research Group indicates 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 despair to sudden fits of anger more often than those that did wear them.

Safety Issues

Safety 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 sound. 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 street 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 connection 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 hear and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like memory.

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine found that a person 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 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 probably something wrong with their ears, but that’s just where it starts. The good news is that getting help in the form of hearing aids and other treatment choices reduces the risk of mental health problems, dementia and the various issues associated with hearing decline.

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