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

Inability to hear is not the only effect of hearing loss, it can also have a powerful impact on your overall life. The loss of your hearing can impede daily activities and can stress relationships.

A survey conducted by AARP found that neglected hearing loss had a greater effect on quality of life than:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Stroke

There are lots of people who don’t seek help with their hearing loss in spite of the fact that it negatively impacts their lives. A perceived stigma attached to hearing loss is one reason why people who suffer from hearing loss won’t seek out the help they need, say researchers. If others find out they have hearing loss, people are afraid they will be treated differently. This perception can distort how they view themselves whether they are young or old.

Your Not The Only One

Today, people live longer, so there are more individuals around with hearing loss, too, even though it doesn’t just impact seniors. The World Health Organization reports that over 1.1 billion people are at risk of hearing loss and the perceptions that come with it, many of them young adults. Hearing loss is, as a matter of fact, one of a young adult’s most significant health threats. Even as the amount of people who have hearing loss continues to grow, the resistance to getting treatment for hearing loss appears to persist. What is the impact on overall health?

What is The Perception of Hearing Loss?

A brand that marks a person as inferior is how sufferers of hearing loss feel and that is the very definition of stigma. Feeling older, less healthy, and less capable are worries that many with hearing loss have.

Historically, there is some basis for this concern. A 2010 study found when people suffer from hearing loss they were not as well accepted. But that research uses data nearly 10 years old. This perception is improving 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 relating to aging, such as cognitive decline and dementia could be delayed or even prevented by getting treatment, according to research. This is also helping to change the perception. And still, in spite of changing perceptions, many people still hesitate to get help.

Why Does It Matter?

It is easy to say that perception doesn’t matter, but if this worry is preventing you from seeking help, know that there are health consequences for not getting treatment. An AARP survey discovered that more people consent to getting colonoscopies than hearing tests. Not getting a hearing examination because you refuse to acknowledge your hearing loss will affect your health as you get older.

Consequences of Undiagnosed or Untreated Hearing Loss

Not dealing with your hearing loss can have the following health repercussions;

Fatigue

Everything in life is more tiresome if you are working hard to hear. You have to work harder than others to hear conversations and sounds. You put more energy into staying safe, as well, because you can’t hear that car or truck coming or someone walking up from behind you. Just working hard to hear everyday sounds can lead to chronic fatigue.

Common Headaches and Migraines

Stress and fear can lead to migraines and other types of headaches. Studies have shown a link, though you might not have realized there was a correlation, between certain forms of hearing loss and migraines. Your brain needs to make up for the sounds you can’t hear, so even if you don’t normally suffer from migraines, the extra effort can give you a headache.

Mental Health

Anxiety and depression are some mental health problems you could also end up facing as a consequence of untreated hearing loss. Social isolation is worse when you have hearing loss and it can also lead to dementia. Moodiness and reduced energy levels go along with these other issues.

Surmounting Negative Perceptions of Hearing Loss

Surmounting these negative perceptions starts with getting help. Hearing loss is treatable. If you decide not to get help, you should understand that you are the one who suffers.

There may not even be any cause to stress since not all loss of hearing is permanent. common earwax buildup can result in hearing loss, but you can’t be sure unless you schedule an appointment to have your hearing checked.

Make sure you deal with it if you find out that you do have hearing loss. Hearing aids come in many shapes and sizes these days. If you don’t want other people to know about your condition, then look for devices that are less visible.

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

You don’t have to be less capable if you have hearing loss, because it’s actually a medical condition. Make an appointment to have a hearing exam today.

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