Your General Health Can be Affected by The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss

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

Hearing loss can have a profound effect on you, one that goes beyond the inability to hear things. Relationships can be strained and day-to-day pursuits can be interrupted by loss of hearing.

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

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Cancer

Hearing loss, when neglected, can seriously 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 who have hearing loss won’t seek out the treatment they need, according to researchers. Being treated differently is one reason people with hearing loss are afraid to tell anyone they can’t hear that well. This perception can change how they see themselves whether they are 8 or 80.

Your Not The Only One

Although it can effect people of every age group, it is true that as lifespans get longer there are more instances of hearing loss. 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 public perception that comes with it. Hearing loss is, in fact, one of a young adult’s most significant health threats. The resistance to getting help persists while the amount of people with hearing loss increases. How does this impact one’s general health?

How Is Hearing Loss Perceived?

A brand that labels someone as inferior is how sufferers of hearing loss feel and that is the very definition of stigma. Lots of people who suffer from hearing loss are concerned they will seem older than they are, less healthy, or less able.

Historically, there is some basis for this concern. A 2010 study revealed when people have hearing loss they were not as well accepted. But that research is based on data almost 10 years old. As hearing loss becomes more widespread, this perception is changing. Celebrities visibly wear hearing aids and the technology is becoming more cutting edge, stylish, and fun. Other health concerns related to aging, like cognitive decline and dementia could be delayed or even prevented by getting treatment, according to research. This is also helping to improve the perception. Despite this, some people still won’t get the assistance they really need.

What Difference Does it Make?

It is simple to say that perception doesn’t matter, but if this anxiety is keeping you from getting help, know that there are health repercussions for not getting treatment. 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 repercussions;


Finding it difficult to hear makes just about everything in life more challenging. It becomes a difficult task to try to hear conversations and common sounds. Because you can’t hear traffic or a person coming up behind you, you have to put more work into keeping safe also. All the additional effort you put into daily tasks will lead to chronic fatigue.

Common Headaches and Migraines

You can get headaches and migraines if you have too much fear and tension. You might not realize there is a correlation, but studies have shown a link between migraines and certain types 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 make your headache.

Mental Health

As a result of your untreated loss of hearing, you may be facing mental health issues such as 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 issues.

The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss Can be Overcome

Seeking help is the step one to overcoming these negative perceptions. It is possible to treat hearing loss. If you make the decision not to get treatment, you should understand that you are the one who suffers.

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

Make sure you do something about it if you find out that you do have hearing loss. Nowadays you can get hearing aids in many shapes and sizes. There are hearing aids that are less noticeable if your concerned about people knowing you have hearing loss.

Finally, prove them wrong. Put on your hearing aids and let everyone know you are just as active, happy, and engaged as anyone. Your attitude will change people’s perception not only of you, but of everyone else who has hearing loss. Negative perceptions are social poisons so stay strong and raise 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.

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