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 more than just your ears? Ears are the tools 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 one’s hearing bleeds into a number of other aspects of their life. It is a dramatic change for someone who has always had the ability to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a extensive impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Capability

A 2006 report released by the Australian firm Access Economics states there is a link between earning 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. Someone who works with no hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid might miss out on crucial information. They may appear for a business meeting at 4 when it was really at 2 pm, for example. Employers tend to value those with shrewd 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 quickly become confused with all that noise around them. They’ll struggle to speak on the telephone, to listen to customers and to understand what colleagues are saying because in a loud environment the background sounds like clicking keyboards or an air conditioner vent become conspicuous.

Relationships

Some of the same problems at work become an issue 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 try to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, which leads to friction, also. It’s extremely common for people with hearing loss to detach themselves and refuse to go out and spend some 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 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 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 by the Senior Research Group indicates 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 despair to sudden fits of anger more often than those who did wear them.

Safety Issues

Security is always a concern for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, while it is 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 trouble hearing high pitched tones.

Personal safety becomes a problem when a individual with hearing loss crosses the road or drives a car, too. Sound serves to signal 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 brain struggles to hear and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like 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 1 factor in memory loss conditions, but it’s an important one.

When someone has hearing loss, it’s true there’s probably something wrong with their ears, but that’s just where it starts. The fantastic news is that getting help in the form of hearing aids and other treatment choices lowers the risk of mental health issues, dementia and the different issues related to hearing decline.

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