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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 harm done to them because of aging, injury or disease is why someone can not hear, but did you know there is more to it than that The loss of one’s hearing bleeds into a number of other facets 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 significant impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Capability

A 2006 report published by the Australian company Access Economics states there is a link between salary potential and hearing. They found that an individual with hearing loss will possibly make about 25 percent less than the ones that do hear, 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 may miss out on serious information. They may appear for a company meeting at 4 when it was actually at 2 pm, for instance. Managers tend to value those with keen attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can not hear the specifics.

Working environments can be noisy and crazy, too. A individual with hearing loss can become confused with that noise around them. They will struggle to talk on the phone, to listen to clients and to understand what colleagues are saying because in a loud 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 individual 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 try to intervene and encourage this individual to recognize their hearing loss, which leads to friction, as well. It’s very common for someone with hearing loss to sequester themselves and refuse to go out and spend some time with others. They struggle to keep up with conversations, so 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 depression. Their study indicates 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 suggests that the chance of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a person with hearing loss does not use hearing aids. The study participants who did not wear hearing aids reported everything from feelings of sadness to sudden fits of anger more frequently than those who did wear them.

Safety Issues

Security is always a concern 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 is a danger. Even people with minor hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.

Personal safety becomes a problem when a person with hearing loss spans 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 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 brain struggles to listen and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like memory.

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine found 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 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 begins. The fantastic news is that getting help in the form of hearing aids and other treatment choices reduces the risk of mental health issues, dementia and the different issues related to hearing decline.