HEARING TIPS

Negative Perception of Hearing Loss Impacts Overall Health

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

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

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

  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

Hearing loss, when left untreated, can seriously get in the way of your lifestyle, yet there are many who don’t seek help. Researchers have found that a lot of people suffering from hearing loss are still worried about a perceived stigma attached to it. Being treated differently is one reason people who suffer from hearing loss are scared to tell anyone they can’t hear very well. An altered self image can be the result of this perception, affecting the young and the old.

Your Not The Only One

As lifespans grow longer, hearing loss has become more prevalent, despite the fact that it can effect people of every 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. In fact, hearing loss is one of the most widespread health issues adults face. Even as the number of people with hearing loss keeps increasing, the resistance to seeking assistance for hearing loss seems to persist. What is the impact on general health?

How Is Hearing Loss Perceived?

The story is pretty much demonstrated by the actual definition of stigma, which is a brand that marks someone as inferior. Feeling older, less healthy, and less capable are concerns that a lot of people with hearing loss have.

Historically, there is some foundation for this concern. A 2010 study revealed when people suffer from hearing loss they were not as well accepted. But that research uses data nearly 10 years old. As hearing loss becomes more widespread, this perception is changing. Celebrities visibly wear hearing aids and the devices are becoming more cutting edge, stylish, and fun. Other health concerns relating to aging, like cognitive decline and dementia may be delayed or even prevented by getting treatment, researchers say. This is also helping to improve the perception. And still, despite changing perceptions, many people still hesitate to get treatment.

Why Does It Matter?

Don’t allow your fear of negative perception stop you from seeking treatment or you could suffer long-term health consequences. More people get colonoscopies than hearing tests according to an AARP survey. Not having a hearing exam because you refuse to acknowledge your hearing loss will affect your health as you get older.

Untreated Hearing Loss, What Are The Consequences?

Your overall health will be affected by these physical consequences;

Fatigue

Fighting to hear makes pretty much everything in life harder. You have to work more than others to hear conversations and sounds. Because you can’t hear traffic or a person coming up behind you, you have to put more work into staying safe as well. Just working hard to hear everyday sounds can lead to chronic fatigue.

Common Headaches and Migraines

Tension and fear can trigger migraines and other types of headaches. You might not recognize there is a correlation, but studies have revealed a link between migraines and some types of hearing loss. 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 cause your head to hurt.

Mental Health

You could also face mental health concerns as a result of your untreated hearing loss such as depression and social anxiety. Hearing loss can lead to dementia and often results in social isolation. You will have less energy and will be moodier if you have these other challenges.

Surmounting Negative Perceptions of Hearing Loss

Surmounting these negative perceptions starts with seeking out help. It is possible to treat hearing loss. Your only causing your own suffering by not getting help.

There may not even be any cause to stress out as not all loss of hearing is permanent. Something as basic as earwax buildup could be the reason, but you won’t know that unless you schedule an appointment to get a hearing test.

Knowing you have hearing loss is not enough, you need to do something about it. Hearing aids come in many shapes and sizes nowadays. There are devices that are less obvious if your worried about people learning you have hearing loss.

Most significantly, show everyone that you have plenty of confidence in spite of your hearing loss. You can be just as active and healthy as anyone, so wear your hearing aids with confidence. Everyone who suffers from hearing loss will also be benefited by your actions. Boost awareness and stay healthy by not giving in to negative perceptions.

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

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