Loss of hearing can have a profound impact on you, one that is about a lot more than the inability to hear things. Losing your hearing will get in the way of everyday pursuits and can stress relationships.
A study carried out by AARP found that quality of life is more seriously impacted by hearing loss than:
The loss of hearing, when left untreated, can seriously have a negative effect on your lifestyle, nevertheless, there are many who don’t get help. Researchers have found that many people going through hearing loss are still worried about a perceived stigma attached to it. People are afraid they will be treated differently if others find out they are suffering from hearing loss. It doesn’t matter how old they are, this perception can distort the way they view themselves.
Your Not The Only One
Though it can impact people of every age group, it is true that as lifespans grow longer there are more instances of hearing loss. The World Health Organization reports that there are more than 1.1 billion people, many of them young adults, at risk of hearing loss and the public perception that comes with it. In fact, hearing loss is one of the most common health issues adults deal with. Even as the number of people who have hearing loss continues to grow, the resistance to getting treatment for hearing loss appears to persist. What is the effect on overall health?
How Is Hearing Loss Viewed?
The story is pretty much demonstrated by the actual definition of stigma, which is a brand that marks someone as inferior. A lot of people who suffer from hearing loss are worried they will look older than they actually are, less healthy, or less able.
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 the data from this research is almost 10 years old. This perception is changing as hearing loss is becoming more commonplace. Celebrities openly wear hearing aids and the technology is becoming more cutting edge, stylish, and fun. And helping to change hearts and minds, research indicates that getting treatment could delay or prevent other health problems linked to aging like cognitive decline and dementia. In spite of this, some 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 worry is preventing you from seeking help, understand that there are health consequences for not getting treatment. People get colonoscopies, according to an AARP survey, more often than they get hearing tests. Not having a hearing test because you won’t acknowledge your hearing loss will impact your health as you get older.
Untreated Hearing Loss, What Are The Consequences?
These bodily consequences of not dealing with your hearing loss will impact your overall health;
Everything in life is more tiring if you are struggling to hear. Just trying to hear conversations and normal sounds is hard work. You also need to be more careful to protect your safety because you can’t hear alert sounds or cars approaching. All that additional energy you put into everyday tasks can lead to chronic fatigue.
Headaches and even migraines can be caused by anxiety 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. Even if you’re not prone to migraines, your brain has to compensate for the sounds you can’t hear, and that effort can make your head hurt.
Anxiety and depression are some mental health problems you could also end up facing as a result of untreated hearing loss. Hearing loss can lead to dementia and usually causes social isolation. These troubles, in turn, often produce physical symptoms such as reduced energy levels or moodiness.
Overcoming Negative Perceptions of Hearing Loss
Seeking help is step one to surmounting these negative perceptions. If you are losing your hearing, it is treatable. If you choose not to get treatment, you should recognize that you are the one who suffers.
Not all loss of hearing is permanent, either, so you could be stressing out over nothing. You can’t be sure what the problem is unless you make an appointment to get a hearing exam. It could be simple earwax buildup.
Recognizing you have hearing loss is not enough, it’s important to take action. You can get hearing aids in all shapes and sizes nowadays. You can get hearing aids that are less visible if your worried about people knowing you have hearing loss.
Most importantly, show everyone that you have lots of confidence despite your hearing loss. 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. Boost awareness and keep healthy by not surrendering to negative perceptions.
Hearing loss is not a personal weakness it’s a medical condition. So see a hearing professional for a hearing exam right away.