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 mechanisms of hearing, so the harm done to them because of aging, trauma or disease is why someone can’t hear, but did you know there is more to it than that The loss of a person’s hearing bleeds into a number of other aspects of their life. It’s a dramatic change for someone who has always had the ability to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a significant effect on more than just the ears.

Earning Ability

A 2006 report released by the Australian firm Access Economics states there is a connection 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 listen, but why?

There are a lot of things that could impact earnings. Somebody who works without any hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid may miss out on weighty information. They might show up for a company meeting at 4 if it was really at 2 pm, for example. Managers tend to appreciate those with keen attention to detail, which is a challenge when you can’t hear the specifics.

Working environments can be noisy and chaotic, too. A person with hearing loss can quickly become confused with that noise around them. They will struggle to speak on the telephone, to listen to clients and to understand what coworkers are saying because in a noisy environment the desktop sounds like clicking keyboards or an air conditioner vent become pronounced.

Relationships

Some of the very 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 like 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, also. It is extremely common for people with hearing loss to detach themselves and refuse to go out and spend some time with other people. 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 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 about 11 percent with hearing loss.

A second study by the Senior Research Group suggests that the chance of mental health problems 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 sadness to sudden fits of anger more frequently than those who did wear them.

Safety Issues

Safety is always an issue for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, while it’s a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alarm, work based on noise. They exude a high-frequency noise when there is a danger. Even people with minor hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.

Personal security becomes a problem when a individual with hearing loss crosses 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 higher 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 have Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Hearing health is just 1 factor in memory loss conditions, but it is an important one.

When someone has hearing loss, it is 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 kind of hearing aids and other treatment options reduces the risk of mental health problems, dementia and the various issues related to hearing decline.