Inability to hear is not the only effect of hearing loss, it can also have a serious impact on your overall life. The loss of your hearing can easily get in the way of day-to-day activities and can strain relationships.
A study carried out by AARP found that untreated hearing loss had a greater impact on quality of life than:
There are many people who don’t seek help with their hearing loss in spite of the fact that it negatively impacts their lives. Researchers have found that many people suffering from hearing loss are still anxious about a perceived stigma attached to it. Being treated differently is one reason people who suffer from hearing loss are afraid to tell anyone they can’t hear that well. An altered self image can be the result of this perception, affecting the young and the old.
It’s Not Only You
Nowadays, people are living longer, that means there are more individuals out there with hearing loss, too, even though it doesn’t only impact seniors. 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. In fact, hearing loss is one of the most common health issues adults deal with. Even as the amount of people who have hearing loss keeps increasing, the resistance to seeking treatment for hearing loss seems to persist. What is the impact on overall health?
How Is Hearing Loss Perceived?
The story is pretty much demonstrated by the actual definition of stigma, which is a brand that labels someone as inferior. Feeling older, less healthy, and less able are worries that many with hearing loss have.
Historically, there is some basis for this concern. A 2010 study revealed when people have hearing loss they were not as well accepted. But the data from this study is nearly 10 years old. This perception is changing as hearing loss becomes more prevalent. Hearing loss technology is becoming Stylish, fun, and sophisticated. Even celebrities are publicly wearing hearing aids. Other health problems related to aging, like cognitive decline and dementia may be delayed or even prevented by getting treatment, according to research. This is also helping to change the perception. Some people still won’t get help despite this research.
Why Does It Matter?
Don’t let your fear of negative perception keep you from getting help or you might suffer long-term health consequences. An AARP survey found that more people consent to getting colonoscopies than hearing tests. Not acknowledging your hearing loss, not getting a hearing test and seeking treatment will take a physical toll, this is especially true over time.
Untreated Hearing Loss, What Are The Consequences?
Not dealing with your hearing loss can have the following health consequences;
In life, everything is more difficult if you are struggling to hear. You have to work harder than others to hear conversations and sounds. You also have to be extra careful to protect your safety because you can’t hear warning sounds or cars approaching. All that extra work you put into day-to-day tasks will lead to chronic fatigue.
Stress and anxiety can cause migraines and other forms of headaches. You might not recognize there is a correlation, but studies have demonstrated a link between migraines and some types of hearing loss. Even if you’re not prone to migraines, your brain has to compensate for the sounds you can’t hear, and that constant struggle can make your head hurt.
You might also face mental health concerns as a consequence of your untreated hearing loss like depression and social anxiety. Loss of hearing could increase social isolation and has even been linked to dementia. These troubles, in turn, often produce physical symptoms like reduced energy levels or moodiness.
The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss Can be Overcome
Surmounting these negative perceptions starts with seeking out help. If you are losing your hearing, it’s probably a treatable condition. If you choose not to get help, you should recognize that you are the one who suffers.
There might not even be a reason to stress out since not all hearing loss is permanent. Something as basic as earwax buildup might be the cause, but you won’t know for sure unless you schedule an appointment to get a hearing test.
If you find out you do have hearing loss, you need to deal with it. Nowadays hearing aids come in many shapes and sizes. More inconspicuous styles are available if you are concerned about people knowing you have hearing loss.
You can prove everyone wrong if you handle your hearing loss in a confident way. You can be just as active and healthy as everyone else, so wear your hearing aids with confidence. Everyone who suffers from hearing loss will also be benefited by your actions. Negative perceptions are social poisons so be strong and increase 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.