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

Are you surprised to learn that hearing loss is more than just your ears? Ears are the means 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 that The loss of one’s hearing bleeds into a number of other facets of their life. It is a dramatic change for someone who has always had the ability to hear. Consider some ways that hearing loss has a extensive impact on more than just the ears.

Earning Capability

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

There are many things that could impact earnings. Somebody who works without any hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid may miss out on crucial material. They may appear for a company meeting at 4 when it was actually 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 become confused with all that noise around them. They’ll struggle to speak 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 motor become conspicuous.

Relationships

Some of the same problems at work become a problem 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, relatives, and spouses.

They may try to intervene and encourage this person to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, as well. It is extremely common for someone with hearing loss to isolate themselves and refuse to go out and spend 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 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 melancholy. Their study indicates an increased risk of depression, especially 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 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 despair 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’s a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alarm, work based on noise. They emit a high-frequency noise if there’s a danger. Even people with minor hearing loss can have difficulty 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’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 short-term memory.

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered 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 someone has hearing loss, it is true there’s probably something wrong with their ears, but that’s just where it begins. 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.