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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 more than just your ears? Ears are the means of hearing, so the damage done to them due to aging, injury or illness is why someone can not hear, but did you know there’s more to it than that The loss of one’s hearing bleeds into a number of other aspects of their life. It is a dramatic change for somebody who has always had the ability to hear. Consider some ways that hearing loss has a extensive effect on more than just the ears.

Earning Potential

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

There are many things that could impact earnings. Someone who works with no hearing assistance device like a hearing aid may miss out on serious material. They may appear for a business meeting at 4 if it was really at 2 pm, for example. Managers tend to appreciate those with shrewd attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can not hear the specifics.

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

Relationships

Some of the same problems at work become an issue 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 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’s very common for people 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 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 found a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and depression. Their study indicates an increased risk of depression, particularly among girls 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 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 despair to sudden fits of anger more frequently than those that did wear them.

Safety Issues

Safety is always an issue 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 is a danger. Even people with minor hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.

Personal safety becomes an issue when a individual with hearing loss spans the street or drives a car, too. Sound serves to indicate 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’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 short-term 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 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 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 choices lowers the risk of mental health issues, dementia and the different issues associated with hearing decline.

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