Your life can be profoundly affected by hearing loss, in a way that goes beyond the inability to hear. Having difficulty carrying out daily activities, and strained relationships are some examples of the overall effect of loss of hearing.
A survey conducted by AARP found that quality of life is more seriously impacted by hearing loss than:
There are a lot of people who don’t seek help with their hearing loss in spite of the fact that it gets in the way of their lifestyle. A perceived stigma associated with hearing loss is one reason why people who suffer from hearing loss don’t seek out the help they need, according to researchers. People are afraid they will be treated differently if others learn they have hearing loss. It doesn’t matter how old they are, this perception can change the way they see themselves.
Your Not The Only One
These days, people are living longer, that means there are more individuals out there with hearing loss, as well, even though it doesn’t only impact older people. The World Health Organization reports that over 1.1 billion people are at risk 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 leading health threats. Even as the number of people who suffer from hearing loss continues to grow, the resistance to seeking help for hearing loss appears to persist. What is the effect on overall health?
How Is Hearing Loss Perceived?
By definition, stigma is a brand that marks a person as inferior and that pretty much says it all. The concern for a lot of people who suffer from hearing loss is that they will seem less capable, older, and possibly less healthy.
Historically, there is some foundation for this worry. A 2010 study found people were not as well accepted when they had hearing loss. But that study is based on data almost a decade old. This perception is changing as hearing loss becomes more widespread. Cutting edge, stylish, and fun technology is currently available that even has celebrities visibly wearing hearing aids. Other health issues related to aging, like cognitive decline and dementia may be delayed or even prevented by getting treatment, researchers say. This is also helping to improve the perception. Some people still don’t get help despite this research.
What Difference Does it Make?
There are health consequences for not getting treatment, so don’t let your concern about negative perception stop you from getting help. An AARP survey revealed that more people agree to get colonoscopies than hearing tests. Not having a hearing test 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;
Everything in life is more tiresome when you are working hard to hear. You have to work harder than others to hear conversations and sounds. Because you can’t hear oncoming traffic or a person coming up behind you, you have to put more work into keeping safe as well. Just working hard to hear common sounds can lead to chronic fatigue.
Common Headaches and Migraines
Stress and fear can trigger migraines and other kinds of headaches. Studies have shown a link, though you may not have realized there was a connection, between certain forms of hearing loss and migraines. Even if you don’t normally get migraines, your brain has to make up for the sounds you can’t hear, and that constant struggle can make your head hurt.
You could also be facing mental health issues as a result of your untreated hearing loss such as depression and social anxiety. Loss of hearing can increase social isolation and has even been linked to dementia. Moodiness and reduced energy levels go hand-in-hand with these other challenges.
It is Possible to Overcome The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss
Taking the first step and seek out help if you want to conquer these negative perceptions. Hearing loss is a treatable condition. Recognize that you are the one that suffers if you don’t get help.
Not all hearing loss is permanent, either, so you could be stressing out for no reason. Something as simple as earwax buildup may be the reason, but you won’t know that unless you make an appointment to get a hearing test.
If it turns out you do have hearing loss, you need to deal with it. Hearing aids come in many shapes and sizes these days. If you don’t want others to know about your hearing loss, then look for devices that are less obvious.
You can prove everyone wrong if you handle your hearing loss in a confident way. You can be just as active and healthy as anyone, so wear your hearing aids with confidence. Your mindset will change people’s perception not only of you, but of everyone else who experiences hearing loss. Negative perceptions are social poisons so stay strong and increase awareness to change them.
You don’t have to be less able if you have hearing loss, because it’s actually a medical condition. Get your hearing tested today.