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 about more than just your ears? Ears are the method of hearing, so the damage done to them due to aging, injury or illness is why someone can’t hear, but did you know there’s more to it than that The loss of a person’s hearing bleeds into many other facets 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 profound effect on more than just the ears.

Earning Capability

A 2006 report released by the Australian firm Access Economics states there’s a link between earning potential and hearing. They discovered that an individual with hearing loss will possibly make about 25 percent less than the ones that do hear, but why?

There are a lot of things that could impact earnings. Someone who works without any hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid may miss out on weighty material. They may show up for a company meeting at 4 when it was actually at 2 pm, for instance. Managers tend to appreciate those with astute attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can’t hear the details.

Work environments can be loud and chaotic, too. A individual with hearing loss can become confused with all 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 desktop sounds like clicking keyboards or an air conditioner vent become conspicuous.

Relationships

Some of the very same problems at work become a problem 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 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, also. It is extremely common for people with hearing loss to isolate themselves and refuse to go out and spend some 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 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 depression. Their study suggests an increased risk of depression, especially 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 indicates that the chance of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a individual with hearing loss does not use hearing aids. The study participants who didn’t 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’s 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 an issue when a individual with hearing loss crosses the street 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 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 brain struggles to listen 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 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 1 factor in memory loss conditions, but it is an important one.

When a person has hearing loss, it’s true there is likely something wrong with their ears, but that’s just where it begins. The fantastic news is that getting help in the form of hearing aids and other treatment options reduces the risk of mental health problems, dementia and the different issues associated with hearing decline.

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