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

Your overall life can be significantly affected by hearing loss, in a way that goes beyond the inability to hear. Having trouble carrying out daily activities, and strained relationships are 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
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Stroke

There are lots of people who don’t seek help with their hearing loss in spite of the fact that it negatively impacts their lives. A perceived stigma attached to hearing loss is one reason why people who suffer from hearing loss don’t seek out the help they need, say researchers. If others find out they suffer from hearing loss, people are scared they will be treated differently. An altered self image can be the result of this perception, impacting the young and the old.

Many Other People 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 in danger of hearing loss and the perceptions that come along with it, many of them young adults. In fact, hearing loss is one of the most widespread health issues adults deal with. Persistent reluctance to get help continues even while the amount of people who have hearing loss increases. How is one’s overall health impacted?

How Is Hearing Loss Viewed?

By definition, stigma means a brand that marks someone as inferior and that more or less says it all. The anxiety for a lot of people with hearing loss is that they will seem less able, older, and perhaps less healthy.

Historically, there is some foundation for this concern. A 2010 study revealed when people have hearing loss they were not as well accepted. But that study is based on data almost 10 years old. As hearing loss becomes more widespread, this perception is improving. Sophisticated, stylish, and fun technology is now available that even has celebrities visibly wearing hearing aids. And helping to change hearts and minds, research shows that getting treatment could delay or prevent other health problems associated with aging such as cognitive decline and dementia. In spite of this, many people still don’t get the assistance they really need.

Why Does It Matter?

Don’t allow your fear of negative perception stop you from getting help or you could suffer permanent health consequences. People get colonoscopies, according to an AARP study, more often than they get hearing tests. Not having a hearing test because you refuse to recognize your hearing loss will impact your health as you get older.

Consequences of Undiagnosed or Untreated Hearing Loss

These bodily consequences of not dealing with your hearing loss will affect your general health;

Fatigue

Everything in life is more laborious when you are struggling to hear. It’s difficult to try to hear conversations and everyday sounds. You also need to be more careful to protect your safety because you can’t hear warning sounds or cars approaching. Just working hard to hear everyday sounds can cause chronic fatigue.

Common Headaches and Migraines

You can suffer from headaches and migraines if you have too much anxiety and stress. Studies have shown a link, though you might not have recognized there was a connection, between certain forms of hearing loss and migraines. The constant extra effort by your brain to make up for what you can’t hear can cause your head to hurt even if you don’t normally get migraines.

Mental Health

You could also be facing mental health issues as a result of your untreated hearing loss like depression and social anxiety. Hearing loss can increase social isolation and has even been linked to dementia. Moodiness and reduced energy levels go hand-in-hand with these other issues.

Conquering Negative Perceptions of Hearing Loss

Seeking help is the step one to surmounting these negative perceptions. If you are losing your hearing, it is treatable. Understand that you are the one that suffers if you won’t get that treatment.

You also may be stressing over nothing because not all hearing loss is permanent. You won’t know what the issue is unless you schedule an appointment to get a hearing exam. It could be simple earwax buildup.

Make sure you deal with it if it turns out that you do have hearing loss. You can get hearing aids in all shapes and sizes these days. If you don’t want other people to know about your hearing loss, then get a hearing aid that is less obvious.

Most significantly, show everyone that you have plenty of confidence in spite of your hearing loss. You can wear your hearing aids with confidence because when you can hear, you will be just as active and healthy as anyone else. The perception of people with hearing loss will be changed if you act in this way. 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. Make an appointment to have a hearing test today.