Eastside Audiology - Issaquah, WA Eastside Audiology - Issaquah, WA

Negative Perception of Hearing Loss Affects General Health

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

Hearing loss can have a significant effect on you, one that is about a lot more than the inability to hear things. Having difficulty executing daily tasks, and strained relationships are some examples of the overall effect of loss of hearing.

A study carried out by AARP found that untreated hearing loss had a greater impact on quality of life than:

  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke

There are lots of people who don’t get help with their hearing loss despite the fact that it negatively impacts their lifestyle. A perceived stigma associated with loss of hearing is one reason why people who have hearing loss won’t seek out the treatment they need, according to researchers. People are scared they will be treated differently if people find out they are dealing with hearing loss. An altered self image can be formed as a result of this perception, affecting the young and the old.

Your Not The Only One

Nowadays, people are living longer, so there are more individuals out there with hearing loss, as well, although it doesn’t just impact seniors. The World Health Organization reports that there are more than 1.1 billion people, a lot of them young adults, at risk of hearing loss and the perceived perception that comes with it. Hearing loss is, in fact, one of a young adult’s greatest health threats. Persistent reluctance to get help continues even while the amount of people who suffer from hearing loss grows. What is the impact on general health?

How Is Hearing Loss Perceived?

A brand that marks someone as inferior is how sufferers of hearing loss feel and that is the definition of stigma. The worry for many people who suffer from hearing loss is that they will seem less capable, older, and maybe less healthy.

Historically, there is some basis for this worry. A 2010 study found when people have hearing loss they were not as well accepted. But that study is based on data nearly 10 years old. As hearing loss is becoming more common, this perception is improving. Hearing loss technology is becoming Stylish, fun, and cutting edge. Even celebrities are visibly wearing hearing aids. Research demonstrates that some other age related health problems, such as dementia, could be slowed or even prevented by getting treatment. This is changing peoples mind about hearing loss and also their hearts. Some people still won’t seek help despite this research.

What Difference Does it Make?

Don’t allow your fear of negative perception keep you from getting treatment or you might suffer permanent health consequences. More people get colonoscopies than hearing tests according to an AARP survey. Not getting a hearing test because you refuse to recognize your hearing loss will affect your health as you get older.

Untreated Hearing Loss, What Are The Consequences?

These physical consequences of not taking care of your hearing loss will impact your overall health;

Fatigue

Everything in life is more challenging when you are working hard to hear. It becomes a difficult task to try to hear conversations and everyday sounds. You put more energy into keeping safe, as well, because you can’t hear that car or truck coming or someone walking behind you. Just working hard to hear common sounds can lead to chronic fatigue.

Common Headaches and Migraines

You can get headaches and migraines if you have too much fear and stress. Studies have shown a link, though you may not have realized there was a connection, between certain forms of hearing loss and migraines. Your brain needs to compensate for what you can’t hear, so even if you’re not prone to migraines, the extra effort can give you a headache.

Mental Health

You could possibly also face mental health issues as a consequence of your untreated loss of hearing such as depression and social anxiety. Hearing loss can increase social isolation and has even been connected to dementia. These challenges, in turn, often come with physical symptoms including reduced energy levels or moodiness.

Surmounting Negative Perceptions of Hearing Loss

Conquering these negative perceptions starts with getting help. If you are losing your hearing, it’s probably a treatable condition. If you choose not to get treatment, you should recognize that you are the one who suffers.

Not all loss of hearing is irreversible, either, so you could be stressing out for no reason. You can’t be sure what the issue is unless you schedule an appointment to get a hearing exam. It could be as simple as earwax buildup.

Make sure you deal with it if it turns out that you do have hearing loss. Hearing aids come in many shapes and sizes these days. You can get hearing aids that are less obvious if your worried about people knowing you have hearing loss.

Above all, prove them wrong. Wear your hearing aids and let everyone know you are just as active, happy, and engaged as anyone. Your attitude will change people’s perception not only of you, but of everyone who suffers from hearing loss. Negative perceptions are social poisons so be strong and increase awareness to change them.

Hearing loss is not a personal weakness it’s a medical condition. Get a hearing examination today.

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