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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 mechanisms 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 one’s hearing bleeds into a number of other facets of their life. It is a dramatic change for somebody 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 connection between salary potential and hearing. They found that an individual with hearing loss could potentially make about 25 percent less than those that do listen, but why?

There are a lot of things that could impact earnings. Somebody who works with no hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid may miss out on weighty information. They may appear for a company meeting at 4 if 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.

Working environments can be loud and crazy, too. A individual with hearing loss can become confused with that sound around them. They’ll struggle to speak on the telephone, to listen to clients and to understand what coworkers 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 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 such as saying “what” a lot during discussions and turning the TV up too loud irritate friends, relatives, and spouses.

They may attempt to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, which leads to friction, as well. It is very common for people 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 avoid them.

Mental Health Concerns

The problems 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 women 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 chance of mental health problems including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a individual with hearing loss doesn’t 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

Security is always an issue 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 emit a high-frequency noise if there is a danger. Even people with minor hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.

Personal safety 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 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 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 a person 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 is likely 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 options reduces the risk of mental health issues, dementia and the different issues associated with hearing decline.