Your life can be significantly affected by hearing loss, in a way that goes beyond the inability to hear. Losing your hearing can easily get in the way of everyday pursuits and can strain relationships.
A survey conducted by AARP found that neglected hearing loss had a more significant 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 lifestyle. Many people with hearing loss shun getting help because they believe that there is a stigma attached to hearing loss, according to researchers. If others find out they have hearing loss, people fear they will be treated differently. It doesn’t make a difference how old they are, this perception can alter the way they see themselves.
Your Not The Only One
As lifespans grow longer, hearing loss has become more commonplace, despite the fact that it can affect people of every age group, 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, as a matter of fact, hearing loss. The resistance to getting help persists even while the number of people with hearing loss grows. 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. Feeling older, less healthy, and less able are worries that a lot of people with hearing loss have.
Historically, there is some basis for this concern. A 2010 study revealed when people suffer from hearing loss they were not as well accepted. But that research is based on data nearly a decade old. This perception is changing as hearing loss is becoming more commonplace. Celebrities visibly wear hearing aids and the technology is becoming more cutting edge, stylish, and fun. Other health issues relating to aging, such as cognitive decline and dementia may be delayed or even prevented by getting treatment, according to research. This is also helping to change the perception. But still, despite changing perceptions, some people still hesitate to get treatment.
Why Does It Matter?
It is simple to say that perception doesn’t matter, but if this anxiety is preventing you from getting help, know that there are health consequences for not getting treatment. More people get colonoscopies than hearing tests according to an AARP survey. Not recognizing your hearing loss, not getting a hearing exam and seeking treatment will take a physical toll, especially over time.
Consequences of Undiagnosed or Untreated Hearing Loss
These physical consequences of not dealing with your hearing loss will affect your general health;
In life, everything is harder if you are struggling to hear. It becomes a difficult task to try and hear conversations and common sounds. You also need to be more careful to protect your safety because you can’t hear alert sounds or vehicles coming. All that extra energy you put into daily tasks will lead to chronic fatigue.
Common Headaches and Migraines
Headaches and even migraines can be induced by stress and tension. Studies have shown a link, though you might not have realized there was a correlation, between some forms of hearing loss and migraines. The constant extra effort by your brain to make up for sounds you can’t hear can cause your head to hurt even if you’re not prone to migraines.
You could also be facing mental health problems as a consequence of your untreated loss of hearing such as depression and social anxiety. Hearing loss can lead to dementia and often causes social isolation. You will have less energy and will be moodier if you have these other issues.
The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss Can be Surmounted
Overcoming these negative perceptions begins with getting help. If you are losing your hearing, it is treatable. Understand that you are the one that suffers if you don’t get that treatment.
There might not even be any reason to stress because not all hearing loss is permanent. Simple earwax buildup can lead to loss of hearing, but you won’t know for certain unless you schedule an appointment to have a hearing test.
Make sure you do something about it if you find out that you do have hearing loss. Nowadays hearing aids come in many shapes and sizes. You can get hearing aids that are less obvious if your worried about people learning you have hearing loss.
Finally, prove them wrong. You can be just as active and healthy as everyone else, so wear your hearing aids with self-confidence. Your attitude will change people’s perception not just of you, but of everyone else who has hearing loss. Boost awareness and stay healthy by not giving in to negative perceptions.
Hearing loss is not a personal weakness it’s a medical condition. Make an appointment to have a hearing exam today.