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, injury or illness 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 somebody who has always had the ability to hear. Consider some ways that hearing loss has a significant impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Ability

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

There are a lot of things that could affect earnings. Someone who works with no hearing assistance device like a hearing aid may miss out on weighty information. They may show up for a business 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’t hear the specifics.

Work environments can be loud and crazy, too. A individual with hearing loss can quickly become confused with that sound around them. They will struggle to talk on the phone, to listen to customers and to understand what coworkers are saying because in a loud 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 person 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, family members, and spouses.

They may attempt to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, which leads to friction, also. It’s extremely 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 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 performed 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 indicates an increased risk of depression, especially 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 risk of mental health problems including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a individual 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 that did wear them.

Safety Issues

Security is always a concern for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, while it’s a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alert, 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 person with hearing loss crosses 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 mind struggles to hear and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like memory.

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered 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 types of dementia. Hearing health is just one factor in memory loss conditions, but it’s an important one.

When someone has hearing loss, it’s true there is probably 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 reduces the risk of mental health problems, dementia and the different issues related to hearing decline.