Your overall life can be profoundly affected by hearing loss, in a way that goes beyond the inability to hear. The loss of your hearing can get in the way of daily tasks and can stress relationships.
A survey carried out by AARP found that quality of life is more seriously impacted by hearing loss than:
Despite the fact that it has a negative impact on their lives, many people who have hearing loss don’t seek treatment. A perceived stigma associated with hearing loss is one reason why people with hearing loss won’t seek out the treatment they need, say researchers. People are worried they will be treated differently if people know they have hearing loss. It doesn’t matter how old they are, this perception can alter the way they view themselves.
It’s Not Only You
Although it can impact people of any age, it is true that as lifespans grow longer there are more instances of hearing loss. The World Health Organization reports that there are more than 1.1 billion people, a lot of them young adults, at risk of hearing loss and the public perception that comes with it. As a matter of fact, hearing loss is one of the most widespread health issues adults deal with. Even as the number of people who have hearing loss keeps growing, the resistance to getting assistance for hearing loss appears to persist. How is one’s general health affected?
What is The Perception of Hearing Loss?
By definition, stigma is a brand that marks somebody as inferior and that basically says it all. Feeling older, less healthy, and less able are concerns that many with hearing loss have.
Historically, there is some basis for this worry. A 2010 study found people were not as well accepted when they suffered from hearing loss. But the data from this research is almost 10 years old. As hearing loss becomes more common, this perception is improving. Sophisticated, stylish, and fun technology is now available that even has celebrities visibly wearing hearing aids. Other health issues relating 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. And still, despite changing perceptions, many people still are reluctant to get help.
Does it Even Matter?
There are health consequences for not seeking treatment, so don’t allow your anxiety about negative perception stop you from seeking help. More people get colonoscopies than hearing tests according to an AARP survey. Not getting a hearing exam because you refuse to recognize your hearing loss will affect your health as you get older.
Untreated Hearing Loss, What Are The Consequences?
Not dealing with your hearing loss can have the following health repercussions;
In life, everything is more challenging when you are struggling to hear. You have to work harder than others to hear conversations and sounds. You have to put more energy into staying safe, as well, because you can’t hear that car coming or someone walking behind you. You can become chronically fatigued just by trying to hear day-to-day sounds.
You can suffer from headaches and migraines if you have too much anxiety and stress. Studies have shown a link, though you might not have realized there was a correlation, between some forms of hearing loss and migraines. Your brain needs to compensate for the sounds you can’t hear, so even if you’re not prone to migraines, the constant effort can make your headache.
Anxiety and depression are some mental health issues you could also face as a consequence of untreated hearing loss. Loss of hearing can increase social isolation and has even been connected 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 Surmounted
Seeking help is the step one to overcoming these negative perceptions. Hearing loss is a treatable condition. Your only causing your own suffering by not getting help.
There may not even be a cause to stress because not all hearing loss is permanent. Simple earwax buildup can cause hearing loss, but you won’t know for certain unless you schedule an appointment to have your hearing checked.
If it turns out you do have hearing loss, you need to deal with it. There are many style options nowadays. More inconspicuous styles are available if you are concerned about people finding out you have hearing loss.
Most importantly, show everyone that you have lots of confidence in spite of your hearing loss. You can wear your hearing aids with confidence because when you can hear, you will be just as active and healthy as anyone else. The perception of people with hearing loss will be changed if you act like this. Increase awareness and stay healthy by not giving in to negative perceptions.
You don’t have to be less capable if you have hearing loss, because it’s actually a medical condition. Get your hearing tested today.