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

The loss of hearing can have a significant impact on you, one that goes beyond the inability to hear things. Losing your hearing will impede day-to-day pursuits and can stress relationships.

A study conducted by AARP found that neglected hearing loss had a greater impact on quality of life than:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Obesity

There are a lot of people who don’t get help with their hearing loss despite the fact that it gets in the way of their lives. A perceived stigma attached to hearing loss is one reason why people with hearing loss won’t get the treatment they need, according to researchers. Being treated differently is one reason people with hearing loss are hesitant to tell anyone they can’t hear very well. It doesn’t make a difference how old they are, this perception can distort the way they view themselves.

It’s Not Only You

As lifespans grow longer, hearing loss has become more prevalent, despite the fact that it can affect people of any age, The World Health Organization reports that over 1.1 billion people are at risk of hearing loss and the perceptions that come along with it, many of them young adults. One of the most widespread health issues facing young adults is, actually, hearing loss. Even as the number of people who have hearing loss keeps growing, the resistance to seeking treatment for hearing loss seems to persist. How is one’s overall health affected?

How Is Hearing Loss Viewed?

The story is pretty much demonstrated by the actual definition of stigma, which is a brand that labels someone as inferior. Many people who suffer from hearing loss are concerned they will seem older than they actually are, less healthy, or less able.

Historically, there is some foundation for this concern. A 2010 study revealed people were not as well accepted when they suffered from hearing loss. But the data from this study is almost 10 years old. As hearing loss is becoming more common, this perception is changing. Cutting edge, stylish, and fun technology is now available that even has celebrities visibly wearing hearing aids. And helping to change hearts and minds, research reveals that getting treatment may delay or prevent other health problems associated with aging like cognitive decline and dementia. But still, in spite of changing perceptions, many people still are reluctant to get treatment.

What Difference Does it Make?

Don’t permit your fear of negative perception stop you from getting help or you might suffer permanent health consequences. An AARP survey found that more people consent to getting colonoscopies than hearing tests. Not recognizing your hearing loss, not getting a hearing exam and seeking treatment will take a physical toll, this is especially true over time.

Untreated Hearing Loss, What Are The Consequences?

Not taking care of your hearing loss can have the following health consequences;

Fatigue

Everything in life is more tiring when you are struggling to hear. Just trying to hear conversations and common sounds is hard work. It becomes necessary to put more effort into keeping safe, also, because you can’t hear that car coming or someone walking behind you. You will become chronically fatigued just by attempting to hear everyday sounds.

Common Headaches and Migraines

Headaches and even migraines can be triggered by stress and tension. You might not realize there is a correlation, but studies have demonstrated a link between migraines and some kinds of hearing loss. Your brain needs to make up for what you can’t hear, so even if you don’t normally suffer from migraines, the extra effort can give you a headache.

Mental Health

As a result of your untreated loss of hearing, you could face mental health issues like depression and social anxiety. Social isolation is worse when you have hearing loss and it can also result in dementia. These challenges, in turn, often come with physical symptoms like reduced energy levels or moodiness.

Surmounting Negative Perceptions of Hearing Loss

Taking the first step and get help if you want to conquer these negative perceptions. It is possible to treat hearing loss. Recognize that you are the one that suffers if you don’t get help.

Not all loss of hearing is irreversible, either, so you could be stressing out for no reason. Something as basic as earwax buildup could be the reason, but you won’t know for sure unless you schedule an appointment to get a hearing test.

Make sure you do something about it if it turns out that you do have hearing loss. Nowadays you can get hearing aids in many shapes and sizes. If you don’t want other people to know about your condition, then get a hearing aid that is less noticeable.

Above all, prove them wrong. Put on your hearing aids and show people you are just as active, happy, and engaged as everyone else. Your attitude will change people’s perception not only of you, but of everyone else who experiences hearing loss. Increase awareness and keep healthy by not giving in to negative perceptions.

Hearing loss is a medical condition, not a weakness. So see a hearing professional for a hearing test right away.