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 harm 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 that The loss of a person’s hearing bleeds into many other aspects of their life. It’s a dramatic change for someone who has always been able to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a extensive effect on more than just the ears.

Earning Potential

A 2006 report published by the Australian firm Access Economics states there is a link between salary potential and hearing. They discovered 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. Someone who works without any hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid may miss out on serious information. They may appear for a company meeting at 4 if it was really at 2 pm, for instance. Managers tend to value those with astute attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can’t hear the details.

Working environments can be loud and chaotic, too. A person with hearing loss can quickly become confused with that sound around them. They will struggle to speak on the phone, to listen to clients and to understand what colleagues are saying because in a noisy environment the desktop sounds like clacking keyboards or an air conditioner motor become pronounced.

Relationships

Some of the 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 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 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 they so what the can to avoid them.

Mental Health Concerns

The problems at work and house 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, particularly 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 risk of mental health problems 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 who did wear them.

Safety Issues

Safety is always a concern for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, whether it’s a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alarm, work based on noise. They exude 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 person with hearing loss crosses 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’s not clear why people with hearing loss have a greater risk of dementia. The current theory is that the brain struggles to hear and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like short-term memory.

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered 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 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 someone has hearing loss, it is true there’s 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 lowers the risk of mental health issues, dementia and the various issues associated with hearing decline.

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