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

Inability to hear is not the only effect of hearing loss, it can also have a serious impact on your life. Relationships can be stressed and daily tasks can be interrupted by loss of hearing.

A survey conducted by AARP found that untreated hearing loss had a greater effect on quality of life than:

  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

The loss of hearing, when left untreated, can really get in the way of your lifestyle, yet there are many people who don’t seek help. A perceived stigma attached to loss of hearing is one reason why people with hearing loss don’t get the help they need, according to researchers. People are concerned they will be treated differently if people know they suffer from hearing loss. An altered self image can be formed as a result of this perception, impacting the young and the old.

Many Others Also Have Hearing Loss

These days, people are living longer, that means there are more individuals around with hearing loss, too, even though it doesn’t only affect seniors. The World Health Organization reports that there are more than 1.1 billion people, a lot of them young adults, in danger of hearing loss and the perceived perception that comes with it. As a matter of fact, hearing loss is one of the most widespread health issues adults deal with. Even as the amount of people with hearing loss keeps growing, the resistance to getting treatment for hearing loss appears to persist. How is one’s overall health affected?

How Is Hearing Loss Perceived?

A brand that marks someone as inferior is how sufferers of hearing loss feel and that is the actual definition of stigma. The anxiety for many people with hearing loss is that they will appear less able, older, and maybe less healthy.

Historically, there is some basis for this concern. A 2010 study found people were not as well accepted when they suffered from hearing loss. But the data from this research is almost 10 years old. As hearing loss is becoming more widespread, this perception is improving. Sophisticated, stylish, and fun technology is now available that even has celebrities visibly wearing hearing aids. Also helping to change hearts and minds, research shows that getting treatment might delay or prevent other health problems linked to aging like cognitive decline and dementia. Some people still won’t get help in spite of this research.

What Difference Does it Make?

There are health repercussions for not seeking treatment, so don’t let your fear of negative perception stop you from getting help. More people get colonoscopies than hearing tests according to an AARP survey. Not getting a hearing examination because you won’t acknowledge your hearing loss will affect your health as you get older.

Untreated Hearing Loss, What Are The Consequences?

Not dealing with your hearing loss can have the following health repercussions;

Fatigue

Finding it difficult to hear makes pretty much everything in life more difficult. You have to work more than others to hear conversations and sounds. You also need to be more careful to protect your safety because you can’t hear warning sounds or vehicles coming. All that additional effort you put into day-to-day tasks can lead to chronic fatigue.

Migraines

Headaches and even migraines can be triggered by anxiety and tension. Studies have shown a link, though you might not have recognized there was a connection, between some forms of hearing loss and migraines. The constant extra effort by your brain to compensate for sounds you can’t hear can cause your head to ache even if you don’t normally get migraines.

Mental Health

As a consequence of your untreated hearing loss, you may be facing mental health concerns including depression and social anxiety. Social isolation is increased by hearing loss and it can also lead to dementia. Moodiness and reduced energy levels go along with these other challenges.

The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss Can be Surmounted

Overcoming these negative perceptions starts with seeking out help. Hearing loss is 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 because not all hearing loss is permanent. Something as basic as earwax buildup might be the cause, but you won’t know that unless you schedule an appointment to get a hearing test.

Knowing you have hearing loss is not enough, you need to do something about it. Nowadays you can get hearing aids in many shapes and sizes. There are hearing aids that are less noticeable if your worried about people learning you have hearing loss.

Above all, prove them wrong. Wear your hearing aids and let everyone know you are just as active, happy, and involved as everyone else. Everyone who experiences hearing loss will also be benefited by your actions. Negative perceptions are social poisons so stay strong and increase awareness to change them.

You don’t have to be less able if you have hearing loss, because it’s actually a medical condition. Make an appointment to have a hearing test today.