Stereotypes can cause endless problems in our lives.
You may have missed meeting your new best friend because you didn’t like her appearance. You missed an amazing trip because you incorrectly thought it was reserved for people different than you.
Stereotypes can cause you to miss out on meaningful opportunities. Others can actually cause physical harm. Such is the case with hearing loss stereotypes.
1. People with hearing loss don’t leave the house
A persistent stereotype is that individuals experiencing hearing loss can’t take care of themselves. They stay at home. They don’t get out and do the things they love, drive, or maintain their independence.
Individuals experiencing hearing loss are not viewed as active seniors.
If you start thinking about how this relates to you as your hearing loss gets worse, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. As you get older, the impact this stereotype has on you becomes stronger.
Sadly, only 32% of people with untreated severe hearing loss continue to attend social activities. They choose instead to spend more time alone at home.
Often this isn’t entirely by choice. You can break the downward spiral, however, by getting your hearing checked and being fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist.
Individuals who treat their hearing loss have much less risk of social isolation than their peers with healthy hearing.
2. Hearing aids make you seem old
Many people think hearing aids will make them seem old. They’re embarrassed to admit they have trouble hearing. They think they can do okay without help.
The truth is people who need a hearing aid and don’t wear one are much more likely to be perceived as older than they actually are. Constant misunderstandings and asking people to repeat themselves are a dead giveaway.
If you are experiencing moderate to severe hearing loss but not wearing your hearing aid, you’re leaving yourself susceptible to serious health implications, which are much worse than wearing a hearing aid.
These health implications include:
- 30% increased risk of depression
- 24% increased risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or cognitive decline
- Being three times more likely to suffer a serious fall that lands you in the ER with a lengthy hospital stay
- More frequent hospital visits
Modern hearing aids are barely noticeable to others and will help you avoid the health complications associated with untreated hearing loss.
3. You’re too young to be experiencing hearing loss
Lastly, many people picture a person in their 70s or 80s when they imagine someone with hearing loss. This stereotype leads people to avoid getting their hearing tested. They think their hearing loss isn’t severe enough to require a hearing aid.
Here’s the truth – you’re correct in believing hearing loss is more common among the 70-plus crowd. But noise-induced hearing loss – the kind we associated with aging – can be experienced by children as young as 12.
A noisy job or hobby, as well as high blood pressure, stress, or certain medications, can cause you to experience hearing loss much earlier in life.
More frequent arguments with loved ones
Asking people to repeat themselves, hearing constant mumbling from others, and getting into more arguments with friends and family members are all tell-tale signs you have significant hearing loss.
Believing you’re too young to be experiencing hearing loss can seriously impact even the strongest relationships. Because hearing loss happens so gradually, most people don’t recognize their hearing impairment is the cause of these woes.
As many as 90% of your arguments with friends or loved ones may be attributed to your hearing loss. Don’t believe us? Take a look at some common argument causes. Can you relate?
- Your father thinks he heard something that wasn’t actually said.
- Your mother denies being told information she was previously told.
- Your best friend misses an important event because he didn’t hear the time or date correctly. Or he did hear the information and forgot it.
- Your aunt causes an accident because she missed important instructions.
- She thinks the TV volume is way too loud. He says it’s just right.
- A friend has to repeat himself and is misunderstood, eventually becoming agitated.
- Someone gets upset because she thinks others are mumbling or talking too softly.
How many of your arguments start due to one of these situations? Chances are, hearing loss is at the root of these misunderstandings. You’re probably also having repeated arguments with loved ones about having your hearing checked by a hearing specialist.
The long-term results include hurt feelings, damaged relationships, and estrangement from those we love. But you can bust these stereotypes by getting your hearing tested to determine if you need a hearing aid.
It’s better to know you’re experiencing hearing loss rather than endure these painful experiences without knowing why. Isn’t it time you contacted a hearing specialist and scheduled an appointment?