Inability to hear is not the only effect of hearing loss, it can also have a profound impact on your overall life. Relationships can be strained and day-to-day activities can be interrupted by hearing loss.
A study carried out by AARP found that untreated hearing loss had a more significant effect on quality of life than:
Even though it gets in the way of their lives, a lot of people who have hearing loss don’t get treatment. Lots of people with hearing loss avoid getting help because they believe that there is a stigma associated with hearing loss, according to researchers. If others find out they have hearing loss, people are afraid they will be treated differently. It doesn’t matter how old they are, this perception can alter the way they view themselves.
It’s Not Only You
Nowadays, people live longer, that means there are more individuals around with hearing loss, as well, even though it doesn’t just impact older people. 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 perceived perception that comes with it. As a matter of fact, hearing loss is one of the most widespread health issues adults face. The reluctance to get help persists even as the amount of people with hearing loss grows. How does this affect one’s general health?
How Is Hearing Loss Perceived?
A brand that labels a person as inferior is how people with hearing loss feel and that is the actual definition of stigma. Feeling older, less healthy, and less capable are concerns that many with hearing loss have.
Historically, there is some basis for this worry. A 2010 study revealed when people suffer from hearing loss they were not as well accepted. But that study uses data almost 10 years old. As hearing loss becomes more widespread, this perception is changing. Celebrities openly wear hearing aids and the devices are becoming more cutting edge, stylish, and fun. Other health concerns 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 improve the perception. Some people still don’t get help in spite of this research.
Does it Even Matter?
Don’t allow your fear of negative perception keep you from getting help or you could suffer permanent health consequences. More people get colonoscopies than hearing tests according to an AARP survey. Not having a hearing exam because you won’t recognize your hearing loss will impact your health as you get older.
Consequences of Undiagnosed or Untreated Hearing Loss
Your general health will be affected by these physical consequences;
Everything in life is more challenging 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 cars coming. All the additional effort you put into daily tasks can lead to chronic fatigue.
Common Headaches and Migraines
Stress and anxiety can lead to migraines and other kinds of headaches. Studies have shown a link, though you may not have realized there was a correlation, between some forms of hearing loss and migraines. The constant extra effort by your brain to compensate for sounds you can’t hear can cause your head to hurt even if you don’t normally get migraines.
As a result of your untreated hearing loss, you may be facing mental health problems such as depression and social anxiety. Hearing loss can lead to dementia and frequently results in social isolation. Moodiness and reduced energy levels go hand-in-hand with these other challenges.
Surmounting Negative Perceptions of Hearing Loss
Taking the first step and get help if you want to overcome these negative perceptions. If you are losing your hearing, it is treatable. Your only creating your own hardship by not seeking treatment.
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 schedule an appointment to get a hearing exam. It could be as simple as earwax buildup.
Make sure you do something about it if you find out that you do have hearing loss. Nowadays you can get hearing aids in many shapes and sizes. More inconspicuous styles are available if you feel worried about people knowing you have hearing loss.
Finally, prove them wrong. Put on your hearing aids and show people you are just as active, happy, and involved as everyone else. The perception of people who have hearing loss will be improved if you act this way. Negative perceptions are social poisons so stay 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. So see a hearing professional for a hearing exam right away.