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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 due to aging, trauma or illness is why someone can’t hear, but did you know there’s more to it than the loss of a person’s hearing bleeds into a number of other aspects of their life. It is a dramatic change for somebody who has always been able to hear. Consider some ways that hearing loss has a extensive impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Potential

A 2006 report released by the Australian company Access Economics states there is a link between earning potential and hearing. They discovered that an individual with hearing loss could potentially make about 25 percent less than the ones that do listen, but why?

There are many things that could impact earnings. Somebody who works without any hearing assistance device like a hearing aid may miss out on weighty information. They may appear for a company meeting at 4 if it was really at 2 pm, for example. Employers tend to value those with astute attention to detail, which is a challenge when you can not hear the specifics.

Work environments can be loud and chaotic, too. A individual with hearing loss can become confused with that sound around them. They’ll struggle to talk on the telephone, to listen to clients and to understand what coworkers are saying because in a noisy environment the desktop sounds like clacking keyboards or an air conditioner engine become pronounced.

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 like saying “what” a lot during conversations and turning the TV up too loud irritate friends, relatives, and spouses.

They may try to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, also. It’s very common for people with hearing loss to detach themselves and refuse to go out and spend time with others. They struggle to keep up with conversations, so they so what the can to avoid 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 suggests an increased risk of depression, particularly among girls 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 by the Senior Research Group suggests that the risk of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a individual with hearing loss doesn’t use hearing aids. The study participants who did not wear hearing aids reported everything from feelings of sadness to sudden fits of anger more often than those that did wear them.

Safety Issues

Safety is always a concern for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, while it is a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alarm, work based on sound. They emit a high-frequency noise when there’s 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 spans the road 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’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 even 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 have Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Hearing health is just one factor in memory loss conditions, but it’s an important one.

When a person has hearing loss, it is true there is likely 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 options lowers the chance of mental health issues, dementia and the different issues related to hearing decline.

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