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Hearing loss depicted as a problem that compounds by showing several cutout men toppled over on one man.

Are you amazed to learn that hearing loss is about more than just your ears? Ears are the means of hearing, so the damage done to them because of aging, injury or disease 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 aspects of their life. It’s a dramatic change for somebody who has always had the ability to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a significant impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Ability

A 2006 report released 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 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 crucial information. They might show up for a company meeting at 4 when it was actually at 2 pm, for instance. Employers tend to appreciate those with keen attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can not hear the details.

Working environments can be loud and crazy, too. A individual with hearing loss can become confused with all that noise around them. They’ll struggle to speak on the telephone, to listen to customers and to understand what coworkers are saying because in a noisy environment the desktop sounds like clacking keyboards or an air conditioner motor 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 discussions and turning the TV up too loud irritate friends, family members, and spouses.

They may attempt to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, as well. It is very 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 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 research suggests an increased risk of depression, particularly among women and people 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 suggests 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 did not wear hearing aids reported everything from feelings of despair to sudden fits of anger more frequently than those who did wear them.

Safety Issues

Safety is always an issue for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, whether it is a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alarm, work based on sound. They exude a high-frequency noise if there’s a danger. Even people with minor hearing loss can have trouble hearing high pitched tones.

Personal security becomes an issue when a person 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 isn’t 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 memory.

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine found 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 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 starts. The good news is that getting help in the kind of hearing aids and other treatment choices reduces the chance of mental health problems, dementia and the various issues related to hearing decline.

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