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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 profound impact on your overall life. Having difficulty carrying out daily tasks, and strained relationships are examples of the overall effect of loss of hearing.

A survey carried out by AARP found that untreated hearing loss had a greater impact on quality of life than:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Stroke

Even though it gets in the way of their lives, a lot of people who have hearing loss don’t seek treatment. A perceived stigma associated with hearing loss is one reason why people who suffer from hearing loss don’t seek out the help they need, according to researchers. Being treated differently is one reason people who suffer from hearing loss are hesitant to let anyone know they can’t hear that well. A distorted self image can be formed as a result of this perception, impacting the young and the old.

Your Not The Only One

Today, people are living longer, that means there are more individuals out there with hearing loss, as well, even though it doesn’t just affect older people. The World Health Organization reports that there are more than 1.1 billion people, a lot of them young adults, at risk of hearing loss and the public perception that comes with it. In 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 seeking assistance for hearing loss seems to persist. What is the effect on general health?

How Is Hearing Loss Perceived?

By definition, stigma is a brand that marks a person as inferior and that more or less says it all. The worry for a lot of people with hearing loss is that they will seem less capable, older, and possibly 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 the data from this study is almost 10 years old. This perception is improving as hearing loss becomes more prevalent. Celebrities openly wear hearing aids and the devices are becoming more cutting edge, stylish, and fun. And helping to change hearts and minds, research reveals that getting treatment could delay or prevent other health issues associated with aging like cognitive decline and dementia. And still, in spite of changing perceptions, many people still are reluctant to get treatment.

Does it Even Matter?

There are health consequences for not seeking treatment, so don’t permit your fear of negative perception stop you from seeking help. More people get colonoscopies than hearing tests according to an AARP survey. Not having a hearing examination because you refuse to recognize your hearing loss will impact your health as you get older.

Untreated Hearing Loss, What Are The Consequences?

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

Fatigue

Finding it difficult to hear makes just about everything in life more challenging. It’s challenging to try to hear conversations and common sounds. You also need to be extra careful to protect your safety because you can’t hear warning sounds or vehicles approaching. You will 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 fear 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 compensate for what you can’t hear, so even if you don’t normally suffer from migraines, the constant effort can give you a headache.

Mental Health

Anxiety and depression are some mental health issues you could possibly also face as a consequence of untreated hearing loss. Hearing loss can lead to dementia and often causes social isolation. You will have less energy and will be moodier if you have these other challenges.

The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss Can be Surmounted

Conquering these negative perceptions starts with seeking out help. It is possible to treat hearing loss. Your only causing your own suffering by not getting help.

There might not even be any cause to stress because not all loss of hearing is permanent. Something as simple as earwax buildup may be the reason, but you won’t know that unless you schedule an appointment to get a hearing test.

Knowing you have hearing loss is not enough, it’s important to take action. Nowadays hearing aids come in many shapes and sizes. If you don’t want others to be aware of your condition, then get a device that is less visible.

You can prove everyone wrong if you handle your hearing loss in the right way. Put on your hearing aids and let everyone know you are just as active, happy, and engaged as everyone else. Your mindset will change people’s perception not only of you, but of everyone who suffers from hearing loss. 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. So see a hearing professional for a hearing test right away.

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