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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 tools 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 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 somebody who has always been able to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a profound impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Ability

A 2006 report published 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 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 such as a hearing aid might miss out on weighty material. They may appear for a business meeting at 4 if it was really at 2 pm, for example. Managers tend to value those with shrewd attention to detail, which is a challenge when you can’t hear the details.

Work environments can be noisy and chaotic, too. A individual with hearing loss can quickly become confused with that sound around them. They’ll struggle to speak on the phone, 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 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 individual with the problem continues to deny it. Little things like 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’s extremely common for someone with hearing loss to sequester themselves and refuse to go out and spend some 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 performed by the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders found a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and depression. Their study suggests an increased risk of depression, especially among girls 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 from the Senior Research Group indicates that the chance 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 didn’t wear hearing aids reported everything from feelings of despair to sudden fits of anger more frequently than those that did wear them.

Safety Issues

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

Personal security becomes a problem 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 street 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 higher risk of dementia. The current theory is that the mind struggles to hear 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 forms of dementia. Hearing health is just one factor in memory loss conditions, but it is an important one.

When someone has hearing loss, it is true there’s 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 choices lowers the chance of mental health issues, dementia and the various issues related to hearing decline.