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 harm done to them due to aging, injury or disease is why someone can not hear, but did you know there is more to it than that The loss of one’s hearing bleeds into a number of other facets of their life. It’s a dramatic change for someone who has always been able to hear. Consider some ways that hearing loss has a significant impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Potential

A 2006 report published by the Australian company Access Economics states there’s a connection between salary potential and hearing. They discovered that an individual with hearing loss will possibly make about 25 percent less than those that do hear, but why?

There are many things that could impact earnings. Somebody who works without any hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid might miss out on weighty information. They may 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’t hear the specifics.

Work environments can be loud and chaotic, too. A individual with hearing loss can quickly become confused with that noise around them. They’ll struggle to speak on the phone, to listen to clients and to understand what coworkers are saying because in a loud environment the desktop sounds like clacking keyboards or an air conditioner vent become pronounced.

Relationships

Some of the 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 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 individual to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, also. It is extremely common for someone with hearing loss to detach 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 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 indicates an increased risk of depression, particularly 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 from the Senior Research Group suggests that the chance of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a person with hearing loss does not use hearing aids. The study participants who didn’t 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’s a danger. Even people with slight 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 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 listen and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like memory.

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine found that 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 forms of dementia. Hearing health is just 1 factor in memory loss conditions, but it’s 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 risk of mental health problems, dementia and the various issues associated with hearing decline.

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