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 impede everyday pursuits and can strain relationships.
A survey conducted by AARP found that quality of life is more seriously impacted by hearing loss than:
There are lots of people who don’t seek help with their hearing loss despite the fact that it gets in the way of their lives. A lot of people who have loss of hearing shun getting help because they think that there is a stigma attached to hearing loss, according to researchers. Being treated differently is one reason people who have hearing loss are hesitant to let anyone know they can’t hear very well. A distorted self image can be the result of this perception, impacting the young and the old.
Your Not The Only One
As lifespans grow longer, hearing loss has become more prevalent, in spite of the fact that it can effect people of any age, The World Health Organization reports that over 1.1 billion people are in danger of hearing loss and the perceived perceptions that come with it, many of them young adults. Hearing loss is, in fact, one of a young adult’s biggest health threats. The reluctance to get help persists even while the number of people with hearing loss grows. How is one’s general health impacted?
What is The Perception of Hearing Loss?
The story is pretty well demonstrated by the very definition of stigma, which is a brand that marks a person as inferior. 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 foundation for this worry. A 2010 study found when people suffer from hearing loss they were not as well accepted. But that study is based on data almost 10 years old. As hearing loss is becoming more widespread, this perception is improving. Hearing loss technology is becoming Stylish, fun, and sophisticated. Even celebrities are visibly wearing hearing aids. Other health issues related to aging, like cognitive decline and dementia could be delayed or even prevented by getting treatment, researchers say. This is also helping to improve the perception. But still, in spite of changing perceptions, many people still are reluctant to get help.
Why Does It Matter?
There are health repercussions for not seeking treatment, so don’t allow your anxiety about negative perception keep you from getting help. More people get colonoscopies than hearing tests according to an AARP survey. Not acknowledging your hearing loss, not getting a hearing examination and seeking treatment will take a physical toll, this is especially true over time.
Consequences of Undiagnosed or Untreated Hearing Loss
These physical consequences of not dealing with your hearing loss will impact your general health;
Everything in life is more tiring if you are working hard to hear. You have to work harder than other people to hear conversations and sounds. You have to put more effort into staying safe, too, because you can’t hear that car coming or someone walking up from behind you. All that additional work you put into day-to-day tasks can lead to chronic fatigue.
Common Headaches and Migraines
Tension and anxiety can trigger migraines and other types of headaches. Studies have shown a link, though you might not have realized there was a correlation, between some forms of hearing loss and migraines. Even if you don’t normally get migraines, your brain has to compensate for what you can’t hear, and that constant struggle can make your head hurt.
As a consequence of your untreated loss of hearing, you may be facing mental health problems like depression and social anxiety. Hearing loss could increase social isolation and has even been linked to dementia. These troubles, in turn, often produce physical symptoms including reduced energy levels or moodiness.
Conquering Negative Perceptions of Hearing Loss
Seeking help is the first step to surmounting these negative perceptions. If you are losing your hearing, it is treatable. Recognize that you are the one that suffers if you won’t get help.
You also could be stressing out over nothing because not all hearing loss is permanent. You won’t know what the problem is unless you make an appointment to get a hearing exam. It could be as simple as earwax buildup.
If you find out you do have hearing loss, you need to deal with it. There are many style options nowadays. If you don’t want others to be aware of your condition, then get a device that is less visible.
Most significantly, show everyone that you have lots of confidence despite your hearing loss. Wear your hearing aids and show people you are just as active, happy, and engaged as everyone else. Your attitude will change people’s perception not just of you, but of everyone else who has hearing loss. Negative perceptions are social poisons so be strong and increase awareness to change them.
Hearing loss is a medical condition, not a weakness. Get a hearing exam today.