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 more than just your ears? Ears are the method of hearing, so the harm done to them because of aging, trauma or illness is why someone can not hear, but did you know there is more to it than that The loss of a person’s hearing bleeds into many other facets of their life. It is a dramatic change for someone who has always been able to hear. Consider some ways that hearing loss has a profound impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Capability

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

There are a lot of things that could affect earnings. Someone who works without any hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid might miss out on crucial information. They may appear for a company meeting at 4 if it was actually at 2 pm, for example. Employers tend to value those with shrewd attention to detail, which is a challenge when you can’t hear the specifics.

Work environments can be noisy and chaotic, 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 coworkers are saying because in a loud environment the background sounds like clicking keyboards or an air conditioner engine 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 discussions and turning the TV up too loud irritate friends, relatives, and spouses.

They may try to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, also. It is extremely common for someone with hearing loss to isolate 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 prevent them.

Mental Health Concerns

The issues 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 discovered a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and melancholy. Their research suggests an increased risk of depression, particularly among girls and individuals 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 suggests that the risk 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 did not wear hearing aids reported everything from feelings of sadness to sudden fits of anger more frequently than those that did wear them.

Safety Issues

Security is always a concern for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, whether it’s a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alert, work based on noise. They emit a high-frequency noise when there’s a danger. Even people with minor hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.

Personal safety becomes a problem when a individual with hearing loss spans the street or drives a car, too. Sound serves to indicate problems like a car coming down the road or a horn honking.

Cognitive Functioning

Medical science has made a link 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 mind struggles to listen and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like short-term memory.

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered 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 get 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’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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