Stereotypes can cause endless problems in our lives.
We missed out meeting our new best friend because we didn’t like how they looked. We didn’t go on an amazing trip because we thought it was reserved for people different from us.
Some stereotypes cause you to miss out. Others can really hurt you. Such is the case with hearing loss stereotypes.
1. People With Hearing Loss Don’t Go Out
A persistent stereotype is that they can’t take care of themselves. They stay at home. They don’t get out and do things they love, drive or maintain independence.
They are not seen as active seniors.
If you start thinking about how this related to you as your hearing loss gets worse at any age, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. As you get older, the impact it has on you is stronger.
There is some truth to it.
People with untreated hearing loss are 30% more likely to give up going out and being social in favor of spending more time alone.
Often this isn’t entirely by choice. However, the great news is that you can break this downward spiral by merely getting your hearing checked and getting fitted for a hearing aid.
The same study showed that those who were treating their hearing loss had no more risk of social isolation than people the same age who had their natural hearing.
2. Hearing Aids Make You Seem “Old”
Many people think that hearing aids make them seem old. They’re embarrassed to admit that they have trouble hearing. They think they can do okay without help.
But the truth is that people who need a hearing aid and don’t wear one are much more likely to be perceived as older than they are. The constant asking people to repeat themselves and the misunderstandings are a dead give away.
Not wearing a hearing aid when you have moderate to severe hearing loss has some serious health implications that are much worse than wearing a hearing aid like:
- 30% increased risk of depression
- 24% increased risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s and other cognitive decline
- 3 times as likely to have a serious fall that lands you in the ER and a lengthy hospital stay
- More frequent ER visits
Hearing aids today are barely noticeable compared to the mayhem caused by not getting it treated.
3. You’re Too Young to Have Hearing Loss
Finally, many people picture the stereotypical person in their 70’s or 80’s when they imagine someone with hearing loss.
This leads people not to get their hearing tested. They think it can’t really be severe enough to need a hearing aid.
But here’s the truth. You’re right that hearing loss is much more common among the 70+ crowd. However, noise-induced hearing loss, the kind we associated with aging, can be detected in children as young as 12.
A noisy job, hobby, high blood pressure, stress and certain medications can cause hearing loss to become noticeable much earlier.
If you’re asking people to repeat themselves, think people are mumbling and find yourself getting into more arguments with friends and family, these are tell-tale signs that you have significant hearing loss.
Thinking you’re too young to have hearing loss can have a serious impact on even the strongest relationships.
Because hearing loss happens so gradually, most people don’t recognize that the hearing impairment was the cause of these woes.
As many as 90% of arguments for those with hearing loss can be attributed to loss of hearing. Don’t believe us? Take a look at these common argument types. Can you relate?
- Someone thinks someone said something they didn’t say.
- Someone thinks someone didn’t tell them something when they did.
- Someone misses something important because they didn’t hear the time/date right. Or they forgot it.
- Someone causes an accident because they missed some important instructions.
- One person thinks the TV is way too loud. The other person says it’s just right.
- People get agitated because they have to repeat themselves and are misunderstood.
- A person gets upset because they think someone is mumbling or low-talking.
How many of your arguments start from one of these reasons? Chances are it’s really hearing loss.
Add to the actual arguments about getting your hearing checked, and this could take up your whole day.
The long-term result is hurt feelings, broken relationships, and often estrangement from those we love.
But the great news is that you can flip these stereotypes on their heads and get your hearing tested. Find out if you need a hearing aid.
It’s better to know than to endure these painful experiences without knowing why. Isn’t it time you found an audiologist and scheduled an appointment?