Hearing loss can have a significant impact on you, one that is about a lot more than the inability to hear things. The loss of your hearing can easily impede day-to-day pursuits and can strain relationships.
A survey conducted by AARP found that quality of life is more seriously impacted by hearing loss than:
Despite the fact that it gets in the way of their lifestyle, a lot of people who have hearing loss refuse to seek treatment. Researchers have found that a lot of people experiencing hearing loss are still concerned about a perceived stigma attached to it. People are concerned they will be treated differently if others find out they are suffering from hearing loss. An altered self image can be the result of this perception, impacting the young and the old.
Your Not The Only One
These days, people are living longer, that means there are more individuals out there with hearing loss, too, although it doesn’t only affect older people. The World Health Organization reports that over 1.1 billion people are in danger of hearing loss and the perceptions that come along with it, many of them young adults. Hearing loss is, as a matter of fact, one of a young adult’s biggest health threats. Even as the number of people with hearing loss keeps growing, the resistance to getting assistance for hearing loss seems to persist. How does this impact one’s overall health?
What is The Perception of Hearing Loss?
By definition, stigma means a brand that marks a person as inferior and that basically tells the story. Feeling older, less healthy, and less able are worries that many with hearing loss have.
Historically, there is some foundation for this concern. A 2010 study found people were not as well accepted when they had hearing loss. But the data from this research is nearly 10 years old. This perception is improving as hearing loss is becoming more commonplace. Sophisticated, stylish, and fun technology is now available that even has celebrities visibly wearing hearing aids. Other health problems related to aging, like cognitive decline and dementia may be delayed or even prevented by getting treatment, according to research. This is also helping to improve the perception. But still, in spite of changing perceptions, many people still hesitate to get help.
What Difference Does it Make?
There are health repercussions for not seeking treatment, so don’t let your anxiety about negative perception keep you from seeking help. An AARP survey revealed that more people consent to getting colonoscopies than hearing tests. Not acknowledging your hearing loss, not getting a hearing exam and seeking treatment will take a physical toll, especially over time.
Consequences of Undiagnosed or Untreated Hearing Loss
Not dealing with your hearing loss can have the following health consequences;
In life, everything is more challenging if you are struggling to hear. It’s difficult to try and hear conversations and common sounds. You also have to be more careful to protect your safety because you can’t hear warning sounds or cars coming. You will become chronically fatigued just by attempting to hear common sounds.
You can get headaches and migraines if you have too much anxiety and tension. You might not realize there is a correlation, but studies have shown a link between migraines and some kinds of hearing loss. Even if you’re not prone to migraines, your brain has to make up for what you can’t hear, and that constant struggle can cause your head to hurt.
You might also be facing mental health issues as a result of your untreated hearing loss such as depression and social anxiety. Social isolation is increased by hearing loss and it can also lead to dementia. These issues, in turn, often come with physical symptoms such as reduced energy levels or moodiness.
The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss Can be Overcome
Getting help is the first step to surmounting these negative perceptions. If you are losing your hearing, it’s probably a treatable condition. If you make the decision not to get treatment, you should realize that you are the one who suffers.
You also could be stressing out for no reason because not all hearing loss is permanent. You can’t be sure what the problem is unless you make an appointment to get a hearing exam. It could be simple earwax buildup.
Recognizing you have hearing loss is not enough, you need to do something about it. You can get hearing aids in many shapes and sizes these days. You can get devices that are less visible if your worried about people knowing you have hearing loss.
Above all, prove them wrong. Wear your hearing aids and show people you are just as active, happy, and involved as everyone else. Everyone who suffers from hearing loss will also be benefited by your actions. Negative perceptions are social poisons so stay strong and increase awareness to change them.
Hearing loss is a medical condition, not a problem. Make an appointment to have a hearing test today.