Hearing loss can have a powerful impact on you, one that goes beyond the inability to hear things. Losing your hearing will get in the way of daily pursuits and can strain relationships.
A study conducted by AARP found that untreated hearing loss had a greater effect on quality of life than:
There are a lot of people who don’t seek help with their hearing loss despite the fact that it gets in the way of their lifestyle. Researchers have found that many people suffering from hearing loss are still worried about a perceived stigma attached to it. People are scared they will be treated differently if others learn they have hearing loss. A distorted self image can be formed as a result of this perception, affecting the young and the old.
Many Others Also Have Hearing Loss
Although it can impact people of every age group, it is true that as lifespans grow longer there are more instances of hearing loss. 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. One of the most widespread health problems facing young adults is, as a matter of fact, hearing loss. The reluctance to get help persists even while the number of people with hearing loss increases. How does this affect one’s overall health?
What is The Perception of Hearing Loss?
By definition, stigma is a brand that marks someone as inferior and that more or less says it all. Lots of people who suffer from hearing loss are concerned they will come across as older than they actually are, less healthy, or less able.
Historically, there is some basis for this worry. A 2010 study revealed when people have hearing loss they were not as well accepted. But that study is based on data nearly 10 years old. This perception is changing as hearing loss becomes more widespread. Celebrities visibly wear hearing aids and the technology is becoming more sophisticated, stylish, and fun. And helping to change hearts and minds, research shows that getting treatment could delay or prevent other health concerns linked to aging such as cognitive decline and dementia. But still, in spite of changing perceptions, many people still hesitate to get help.
Does it Even Matter?
It is easy to say that perception doesn’t matter, but if this fear is stopping you from seeking help, know that there are health consequences for not getting treatment. An AARP survey discovered that more people consent to getting colonoscopies than hearing tests. Not recognizing your hearing loss, not getting a hearing exam and seeking treatment will take a physical toll, particularly over time.
Consequences of Undiagnosed or Untreated Hearing Loss
Not taking care of your hearing loss can have the following health consequences;
Everything in life is more tedious when you are struggling to hear. You have to work more than other people to hear conversations and sounds. You also have to be more careful to protect your safety because you can’t hear warning sounds or vehicles coming. You will become chronically fatigued just by trying to hear everyday sounds.
Tension and fear can trigger migraines and other forms of headaches. You might not recognize there is a correlation, but studies have demonstrated a link between migraines and some kinds of hearing loss. Even if you’re not prone to migraines, your brain has to compensate for what you can’t hear, and that constant struggle can make your head hurt.
You could possibly also be facing mental health issues as a result of your untreated loss of hearing like depression and social anxiety. Hearing loss can lead to dementia and often results in social isolation. You will have less energy and will be moodier if you have these other issues.
Conquering Negative Perceptions of Hearing Loss
Overcoming these negative perceptions begins with seeking out help. It is possible to treat hearing loss. If you choose not to get treatment, you should understand that you are the one who suffers.
Not all hearing loss is permanent, either, so you could be stressing out over nothing. common earwax buildup can cause loss of hearing, but you can’t be certain unless you make an appointment to have a hearing test.
Make sure you do something about it if you find out that you do have hearing loss. There are many style options nowadays. There are hearing aids that are less obvious if your concerned about people learning you have hearing loss.
Most importantly, show everyone that you have lots of confidence despite your hearing loss. You can be just as active and healthy as everyone else, so wear your hearing aids with confidence. Your attitude will change people’s perception not only of you, but of everyone who suffers from hearing loss. Negative perceptions are social poisons so stay strong and increase awareness to change them.
Hearing loss is a medical condition, not a problem. Get your hearing tested today.