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

Are you taken aback to learn that hearing loss is about more than just your ears? Ears are the tools of hearing, so the damage done to them because of aging, injury or disease is why someone can not hear, but did you know there’s more to it than the loss of one’s hearing bleeds into a number of other aspects of their life. It is a dramatic change for someone who has always had the ability to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a profound impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Capability

A 2006 report published by the Australian firm Access Economics states there is a connection between earning potential and hearing. They discovered that an individual with hearing loss could possibly make about 25 percent less than those that do hear, but why?

There are a lot of things that could impact earnings. Someone who works without any hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid may miss out on weighty material. They may show up for a company meeting at 4 when it was actually at 2 pm, for example. Employers tend to value those with astute attention to detail, which is a challenge when you can’t hear the details.

Working environments can be noisy and chaotic, too. A individual with hearing loss can quickly become confused with that noise around them. They’ll struggle to speak on the phone, to listen to clients and to understand what colleagues are saying because in a noisy environment the desktop sounds like clacking keyboards or an air conditioner motor become pronounced.

Relationships

Some of the very 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 conversations 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, and that leads to friction, as well. It’s extremely 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 that they so what the can to prevent them.

Mental Health Concerns

The problems at work and house 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 study 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 from the Senior Research Group indicates that the risk 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 did not wear hearing aids reported everything from feelings of despair to sudden fits of anger more often than those who 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 exude a high-frequency noise when there is a danger. Even people with minor hearing loss can have trouble hearing high pitched tones.

Personal security 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 isn’t clear why people with hearing loss have a higher 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 found that even a person with minor hearing loss is twice as likely to develop dementia. Moderate hearing loss increases the risk by three times and an individual with severe hearing impairment is five times more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Hearing health is just 1 factor in memory loss conditions, but it’s an important one.

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

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