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Why Are People Ashamed of Hearing Loss?

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Hearing loss is quite common, and according to the Hearing Loss Association of America, an estimated 48 million Americans live with hearing loss. This figure represents about 20% of the total American population, so it is quite common. However, there is some stigma attached to hearing loss despite its marked degree of occurrence. This makes it quite difficult for people who experience hearing loss to seek proper medical attention from hearing instrument specialists (HIS).

Facts concerning hearing loss

If you experience hearing loss, you are not alone; as the stats show, over 20% of the American population have hearing loss. This number of people include children, teenagers, adults and seniors. Though hearing loss may be more common in seniors through aging, it can also be caused by constant exposure to loud noise and other harmful sounds in our environment.

And the latter accounts for the majority of hearing loss in younger people. To back this assertion, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health released a study that revealed that six percent of adults between 35-44, 11% of adults between 45-54 and 25% of adults 55-64 experience hearing loss.

How quickly do people seek treatment?

Although these facts are glaring, it takes the average person seven to ten years to seek professional help from a HIS. This is quite a long time to take no action and your relationships may experience hardships and you may miss out on social events due to the fear of stigma.

The stigma associated with hearing loss

Recent studies by the Gerontologist, an academic journal that focuses on aging, showed that most people who experience hearing loss did not want to be tagged as old. This gave a clear indication that the issue of age remains a big problem. This stereotype, though unfair, has prevailed over time, even with the stats showing that people of all ages can experience hearing loss.

According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that up to one billion young adults and teenagers are more likely to experience hearing loss due to unsafe usage of smartphones.

The stigma associated with hearing aids

In a society obsessed with looks, a hearing aid may stand out, which may lead to some opinions from others. People are quick to place labels on others when they do not understand certain situations. But with improved technology, hearing aids have transformed from the bulky, unsightly and uncomfortable devices they once were. Hearing aids are now much smaller and more efficient.

Treatment

To begin treatment, you must first see a hearing instrument specialist. They will run tests to determine the type of hearing loss you have. The most common form of hearing loss is sensorineural hearing which is permanent. This is because of damaged cells that the body cannot repair.

But hearing aids can easily remedy this situation. Your HIS will determine which type of hearing aid will provide you the best solution you need. There are different kinds of hearing aid styles that are suited to different situations. 

Some examples of hearing aids are the in the ear (ITE), behind the ear (BTE) and in the canal (ITC). The type you will be issued with will depend on your ear’s anatomy, the kind of hearing loss you experience and your preference for technology and design.

Benefits of treating hearing loss

In a recent survey, the Better Hearing Institute indicated that eight out of ten people who used hearing aids reported that the quality of their lives has improved. Here are some of the things the survey revealed.

Increased earnings

Ninety percent of people who experienced mild hearing loss who used hearing aids indicated that the likelihood of losing income was reduced due to their improved hearing. This was also true for 77% of people who had moderate-to-severe hearing loss.

Reduced cognitive decline

Brain atrophy is one of the things that can be reduced by using hearing aids as it improves the capacity of the ear. So, in essence, hearing aids invariably slow down age-related memory decline. Additionally, due to the increased use of hearing aids, more manufacturers are making products targeted at relieving tinnitus. So, using hearing aids offers the extra advantage of reducing the effects of tinnitus.

Increased personal safety

Hearing plays an integral part in how we keep ourselves safe. The sounds surrounding us give an idea of what is around us, and we can take the necessary precautions. Good balance is also associated with good hearing, and so you are less prone to falls.

Treating hearing loss early will improve your quality of life. If you are experiencing hearing loss, contact Better Hearing of Madison County at 315-363-7869 to learn more about hearing loss and the available options for your hearing.