HEARING TIPS

Your Overall Health Can be Impacted by The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss

Man with hearing loss looks concerned but won't get hearing aids.

The loss of hearing can have a powerful impact on you, one that is about a lot more than the inability to hear things. Relationships can be stressed and day-to-day activities can be disrupted by hearing loss.

A survey carried out by AARP found that untreated hearing loss had a more significant impact on quality of life than:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Stroke

Despite the fact that it gets in the way of their lives, a lot of people who have hearing loss don’t get treatment. A perceived stigma associated with hearing loss is one reason why people who have hearing loss won’t seek out the help they need, say researchers. People are afraid they will be treated differently if people learn they have hearing loss. It doesn’t matter how old they are, this perception can distort the way they see themselves.

Your Not The Only One

Today, people are living longer, that means there are more individuals around with hearing loss, as well, although it doesn’t only impact older people. The World Health Organization reports that there are more than 1.1 billion people, a lot of them young adults, in danger of hearing loss and the public perception that comes with it. One of the most common health concerns facing young adults is, actually, hearing loss. Persistent reluctance to get help continues even as the number of people with hearing loss increases. How is one’s overall health affected?

What is The Perception of Hearing Loss?

The story is pretty well illustrated by the very definition of stigma, which is a brand that labels someone as inferior. The worry for a lot of people who suffer from hearing loss is that they will seem less able, older, and possibly less healthy.

Historically, there is some basis for this worry. A 2010 study found people were not as well accepted when they had hearing loss. But that research is based on data almost 10 years old. As hearing loss is becoming more widespread, this perception is changing. Hearing loss technology is becoming Stylish, fun, and cutting edge. Even celebrities are visibly wearing hearing aids. Other health problems related to aging, such as cognitive decline and dementia could be delayed or even prevented by getting treatment, researchers say. This is also helping to improve the perception. In spite of this, many people still won’t get the assistance they really need.

Why Does It Matter?

It is easy to say that perception doesn’t matter, but if this anxiety is keeping you from getting help, recognize that there are health consequences for not getting treatment. An AARP survey found that more people consent to getting colonoscopies than they do hearing tests. Not getting a hearing examination because you refuse to acknowledge your hearing loss will impact your health as you get older.

Consequences of Undiagnosed or Untreated Hearing Loss

These physical consequences of not taking care of your hearing loss will impact your overall health;

Fatigue

Fighting to hear makes pretty much everything in life more difficult. Just attempting to hear conversations and everyday sounds is a difficult task. Because you can’t hear traffic or a person walking up behind you, you have to put more energy into keeping safe too. All that additional effort you put into everyday tasks can lead to chronic fatigue.

Common Headaches and Migraines

Stress and fear can lead to migraines and other forms of headaches. Studies have shown a link, though you might not have recognized there was a connection, between some 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.

Mental Health

As a consequence of your untreated loss of hearing, you could face mental health concerns such as depression and social anxiety. Hearing loss can lead to dementia and often results in social isolation. Moodiness and reduced energy levels go along with these other issues.

Conquering Negative Perceptions of Hearing Loss

Surmounting these negative perceptions begins with seeking out help. Hearing loss is a treatable condition. If you decide not to get treatment, you should understand that you are the one who suffers.

Not all hearing loss is irreversible, either, so you could be stressing for no reason. Something as simple as earwax buildup might be the reason, but you won’t know for sure unless you make an appointment to get a hearing test.

If you find out you do have hearing loss, you need to deal with it. There are many style options now. Less conspicuous styles are available if you feel concerned about people finding out you have hearing loss.

Above all, prove them wrong. You should wear your hearing aids with confidence because when you can hear, you will be just as active and healthy as anyone else. Your attitude will change people’s perception not only of you, but of everyone else who suffers from hearing loss. Negative perceptions are social poisons so be strong and increase awareness to change them.

Hearing loss is not a personal weakness it’s a medical condition. So see a hearing professional for a hearing exam right away.

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