Your life can be significantly affected by hearing loss, in a way that goes beyond the inability to hear. The loss of your hearing can easily get in the way of everyday pursuits and can strain relationships.
A survey 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 lives. A perceived stigma attached to hearing loss is one reason why people with hearing loss don’t seek out the treatment they need, say researchers. People are afraid they will be treated differently if people know they have hearing loss. An altered self image can be the result of this perception, affecting the young and the old.
Your Not The Only One
Today, people live longer, so there are more individuals around with hearing loss, too, although it doesn’t just affect seniors. 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. One of the most widespread health problems facing young adults is, actually, hearing loss. Persistent reluctance to get help continues even while the amount of people who suffer from hearing loss increases. How is one’s overall health affected?
What is The Perception of Hearing Loss?
By definition, stigma is a brand that marks a person as inferior and that basically tells the story. Feeling older, less healthy, and less capable are worries that many with hearing loss have.
Historically, there is some foundation for this concern. A 2010 study revealed people were not as well accepted when they suffered from hearing loss. But the data from this study is nearly a decade old. As hearing loss is becoming more widespread, this perception is improving. Cutting edge, stylish, and fun technology is now available that even has celebrities visibly wearing hearing aids. And helping to change hearts and minds, research reveals that getting treatment might delay or prevent other health issues linked to aging such as cognitive decline and dementia. Some people still don’t get help in spite of this research.
What Difference Does it Make?
Don’t allow your anxiety about negative perception stop you from seeking help or you could suffer long-term health consequences. 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.
Consequences of Undiagnosed or Untreated Hearing Loss
These physical consequences of not dealing with your hearing loss will affect your overall health;
Fighting to hear makes just about everything in life more challenging. It becomes a difficult task to try to hear conversations and everyday sounds. Because you can’t hear oncoming traffic or that person walking up behind you, you need to put more energy into keeping safe too. Just working hard to hear common sounds can lead to chronic fatigue.
Common Headaches and Migraines
You can suffer from headaches and migraines if you have too much anxiety and stress. You might not recognize there is a connection, but studies have shown a link between migraines and certain types of hearing loss. The constant extra effort by your brain to compensate for sounds you can’t hear can cause your head to hurt even if you’re not prone to migraines.
As a consequence of your untreated hearing loss, you could face mental health concerns including depression and social anxiety. Hearing loss can lead to dementia and frequently results in social isolation. These challenges, in turn, often come with physical symptoms like reduced energy levels or moodiness.
The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss Can be Surmounted
Overcoming these negative perceptions begins with getting help. Hearing loss is treatable. If you choose not to get help, you should understand that you are the one who suffers.
You also might be stressing for no reason because not all hearing loss is permanent. Something as basic as earwax buildup may be the reason, but you won’t know that unless you schedule an appointment to get a hearing test.
Make sure you do something about it if you find out that you do have hearing loss. You can get hearing aids in all shapes and sizes nowadays. You can get devices that are less noticeable if your concerned about people knowing you have hearing loss.
Most significantly, show everyone that you have plenty of confidence despite your hearing loss. Put on your hearing aids and let everyone know you are just as active, happy, and involved as everyone else. Everyone who has 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 not a personal weakness it’s a medical condition. Make an appointment to have a hearing test today.