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

Earning Capability

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

There are a lot of things that could affect earnings. Someone who works with no hearing assistance device like a hearing aid may miss out on crucial information. They may appear for a business meeting at 4 when it was actually at 2 pm, for instance. Managers tend to value those with shrewd attention to detail, which is a challenge when you can not hear the details.

Working environments can be noisy and chaotic, too. A individual with hearing loss can become confused with all that sound 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 motor become pronounced.

Relationships

Some of the same problems at work become an issue at home. Hearing loss has the potential to cause conflict, especially when the individual 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 try to intervene and encourage this individual to recognize their hearing loss, which 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 prevent them.

Mental Health Concerns

The problems 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 melancholy. Their research suggests an increased risk of depression, especially 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 issues including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a person with hearing loss doesn’t 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’s a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alarm, work based on noise. They exude a high-frequency noise when there is a danger. Even people with minor hearing loss can have trouble hearing high pitched tones.

Personal safety 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 road 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 a person 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’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 begins. The fantastic news is that getting help in the form of hearing aids and other treatment options lowers the chance of mental health issues, dementia and the various issues related to hearing decline.