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, trauma 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 many other facets of their life. It’s a dramatic change for someone who has always been able to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a significant effect on more than just the ears.

Earning Capability

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 could possibly make about 25 percent less than the ones that do listen, but why?

There are many things that could affect earnings. Someone who works without any hearing assistance device like a hearing aid might miss out on crucial material. They might appear for a business meeting at 4 when it was really at 2 pm, for instance. Employers tend to value those with keen attention to detail, which is a challenge when you can not hear the details.

Working environments can be loud and crazy, too. A individual with hearing loss can become confused with that sound around them. They will struggle to speak on the telephone, to listen to customers and to understand what colleagues are saying because in a noisy environment the background sounds like clacking 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, especially when the person with the problem continues to deny it. Little things like 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 individual to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, also. It’s extremely common for people with hearing loss to isolate themselves and refuse to go out and spend 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 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 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 about 11 percent with hearing loss.

A second study from the Senior Research Group indicates that the risk of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a person with hearing loss doesn’t use hearing aids. The study participants who didn’t wear hearing aids reported everything from feelings of despair to sudden fits of anger more frequently than those that did wear them.

Safety Issues

Security is always an issue for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, whether it’s a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alert, work based on sound. They emit a high-frequency noise when there’s a danger. Even people with slight hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.

Personal security becomes a problem when a individual with hearing loss spans the road 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 connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss. It isn’t clear why people with hearing loss have a greater 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 a person 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’s 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 starts. The good news is that getting help in the form of hearing aids and other treatment options lowers the risk of mental health issues, dementia and the various issues associated with hearing decline.