Your life can be profoundly affected by hearing loss, in a way that goes beyond the inability to hear. Relationships can be stressed and day-to-day tasks can be disrupted by loss of hearing.
A study conducted by AARP found that quality of life is more seriously impacted by hearing loss than:
There are many people who don’t get help with their hearing loss in spite of the fact that it negatively impacts their lives. Researchers have discovered that many people suffering from hearing loss are still worried about a perceived stigma attached to it. People are worried they will be treated differently if people know they are suffering from hearing loss. A distorted self image can be formed as a result of this perception, impacting the young and the old.
Many Others Also Have Hearing Loss
Even though it can affect people of all ages, it is true that as lifespans grow longer there are more instances of hearing loss. 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. One of the most common health problems facing young adults is, actually, hearing loss. Persistent resistance to getting help continues while the amount of people with hearing loss increases. What is the effect on general health?
How Is Hearing Loss Viewed?
The story is pretty much illustrated by the very definition of stigma, which is a brand that labels a person as inferior. The worry for many people with hearing loss is that they will seem less able, older, and possibly less healthy.
Historically, there is some foundation for this worry. A 2010 study found when people have hearing loss they were not as well accepted. But the data from this research is almost a decade old. This perception is improving as hearing loss becomes more prevalent. Hearing loss technology is becoming Stylish, fun, and cutting edge. Even celebrities are publicly wearing hearing aids. Other health issues relating to aging, like cognitive decline and dementia may be delayed or even prevented by getting treatment, researchers say. This is also helping to change the perception. Some people still won’t seek help in spite of this research.
Does it Even Matter?
There are health repercussions for not getting treatment, so don’t permit your anxiety about negative perception stop you from seeking help. People get colonoscopies, according to an AARP study, more often than they get hearing tests. Not acknowledging your hearing loss, not getting a hearing examination 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 impact your overall health;
Everything in life is more tiring when you are working hard to hear. Just attempting to hear conversations and common sounds is hard work. You put more energy into keeping safe, too, because you can’t hear that vehicle coming or someone walking behind you. You will become chronically fatigued just by trying to hear day-to-day sounds.
Common Headaches and Migraines
You can get headaches and migraines if you have too much fear and stress. You might not recognize there is a connection, but studies have shown a link between migraines and certain types of hearing loss. Even if you don’t normally get migraines, your brain has to make up for what you can’t hear, and that constant struggle can cause your head to hurt.
Anxiety and depression are some mental health problems you could also end up facing as a consequence of untreated loss of hearing. Loss of hearing can increase social isolation and has even been linked to dementia. You will have less energy and will be moodier if you have these other challenges.
Conquering Negative Perceptions of Hearing Loss
Taking the first step and get help if you want to conquer these negative perceptions. If you are losing your hearing, it’s probably a treatable condition. If you make the decision not to get treatment, you should understand that you are the one who suffers.
Not all hearing loss is permanent, either, so you could be stressing over nothing. Something as basic as earwax buildup may be the reason, but you won’t know for sure unless you make an appointment to get a hearing test.
If it turns out you do have hearing loss, do something about it. Hearing aids come in all shapes and sizes these days. More inconspicuous styles are available if you feel concerned about people knowing you have hearing loss.
Above all, prove them wrong. Wear your hearing aids and show people you are just as active, happy, and involved as everyone else. The perception of people with hearing loss will be changed if you act like this. Raise awareness and stay healthy by not giving in to negative perceptions.
You don’t have to be less able if you have hearing loss, because it’s actually a medical condition. So see a hearing professional for a hearing test right away.