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

Your life can be seriously affected by hearing loss, in a way that goes beyond the inability to hear. Relationships can be stressed and day-to-day tasks can be interrupted by loss of hearing.

A survey conducted by AARP found that quality of life is more seriously impacted by hearing loss than:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Obesity

There are many people who don’t seek help with their hearing loss despite the fact that it negatively impacts their lifestyle. Researchers have discovered that many people experiencing hearing loss are still anxious about a perceived stigma attached to it. People are scared they will be treated differently if others learn they have hearing loss. This perception can distort how they see themselves whether they are young or old.

Your Not The Only One

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 at risk 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 while the amount of people who suffer from hearing loss increases. How does this affect one’s general health?

What is The Perception of Hearing Loss?

A brand that marks someone as inferior is how sufferers of hearing loss feel and that is the meaning of stigma. Feeling older, less healthy, and less able are concerns that many with hearing loss have.

Historically, there is some basis for this worry. A 2010 study found people were not as well accepted when they had hearing loss. But the data from this research is almost a decade old. As hearing loss is becoming more widespread, this perception is changing. 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 issues connected to aging like cognitive decline and dementia. And still, despite changing perceptions, many people still hesitate to get help.

What Difference Does it Make?

There are health consequences for not seeking treatment, so don’t let your anxiety about negative perception stop you from seeking help. More people get colonoscopies than hearing tests according to an AARP survey. Not getting a hearing exam because you won’t recognize your hearing loss will impact your health as you get older.

Untreated Hearing Loss, What Are The Consequences?

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

Fatigue

Finding it difficult to hear makes just about everything in life more challenging. You have to work harder than other people to hear conversations and sounds. You have to put more effort into keeping safe, too, because you can’t hear that vehicle coming or someone walking up from behind you. You can become chronically fatigued simply by trying to hear everyday sounds.

Common Headaches and Migraines

You can suffer from headaches and migraines if you have too much anxiety and tension. Studies have shown a link, though you may not have realized there was a correlation, between certain forms of hearing loss and migraines. The constant extra effort of your brain to compensate for sounds you can’t hear can cause your head to ache even if you’re not prone to migraines.

Mental Health

As a consequence of your untreated hearing loss, you may be facing mental health problems such as depression and social anxiety. Social isolation is worse when you have hearing loss and it can also lead to dementia. You will have less energy and will be moodier if you have these other issues.

It is Possible to Overcome The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss

Getting help is the first step to surmounting these negative perceptions. It is possible to treat hearing loss. If you decide not to get treatment, you should realize that you are the one who suffers.

You also might be stressing out for no reason because not all hearing loss is permanent. Simple earwax buildup can lead to loss of hearing, but you won’t know for certain unless you schedule an appointment to have a hearing test.

Recognizing you have hearing loss is not enough, it’s important to do something about it. You can get hearing aids in many shapes and sizes these days. If you don’t want other people to know about your condition, then get a hearing aid that is less obvious.

Finally, prove them wrong. You can be just as active and healthy as anyone, so wear your hearing aids with self-confidence. Everyone who suffers from hearing loss will also be benefited by your actions. Negative perceptions are social poisons so stay strong and raise awareness to change them.

You don’t have to be less capable if you have hearing loss, because it’s actually a medical condition. Get a hearing examination today.