There is no doubt that hearing loss has a stigma associated with it, which in itself is really a pity as solutions are readily available. Is it because we like present and see ourselves as close to perfection as we can? Or is it because hearing loss changes how we think others see us? Or maybe it is a cosmetic thing where we don’t feel like we look as good with a hearing solution?
Of course, hearing loss in past times seems to have a bigger stigma relating to ageism. But age is only one factor that relates to hearing loss. Hearing loss doesn’t discriminate, and it can happen to anyone, at any time. Luckily this assumption is on the decline mainly because hearing aids are so tiny and cleverer allowing people with hearing loss to do things normal hearers can’t. Things like stream music direct to their ears without headphones…or selectively watch TV while their wife sleeps without any sound coming out the TV.
Interestingly enough however, we do not have the same stigma with eyesight. Certainly, glasses are a much more favourable as far as vanity goes. Specs alone can alter our appearance in positive ways, making us appear more distinguished and smarter. In fact, glasses in some ways have the completely opposite affect with regard to our self-image than a hearing aid would. We are more inclined to say ‘hey check out my new specs!’ as opposed to ‘check out my new ear bling (hearing aids)’.
This stigma luckily is changing, much like the negativity associated to tattoos has somewhat diminished over the last 30 years or so. Tattoos are an interesting comparison, as they were once seen as a mark of evil in some cultures, but are now more often viewed as pieces of sublime artwork, allowing an individual to express themselves in different ways. Imagine then, how one with hearing loss could express themselves if they could in fact hear clearer?
It seems to make sense, right?
Still, many of us who experience hearing loss are still reluctant to do anything about it, and will continue floating down the long, slow Egyptian river of Denial. The statistic is that it takes people 7 years to act on their hearing loss. This is such a long time to mishear and not be able to join in. Maybe we wait as if our hearing loss is going to go away or get better. But unfortunately, the reality is that it can only get worse.
The human inner ear and the hearing part of our brain actually need sound to keep healthy and stimulated, and when it is left untreated, the hair cells unfortunately die from non-stimulation. This is called Auditory Deprivation.
We now also know that untreated hearing loss is the Number One Risk Factor for dementia. And a study done by the University of Manchester in 2018 testing over 2020 people, showed that hearing aids slow dementia by 75%. This is major!
Nowadays, there are so many options available to help people experiencing hearing loss. But what is important is making sure (like your eyesight) that you check your hearing regularly. Hearing loss develops over time, in fact, you may not even know what you are missing out on. So it’s imperative to make sure you have frequent checks so that a hearing professional can monitor your hearing for any changes.
As for those already experiencing hearing loss, it is important to know that technology is now so advanced that there are invisible hearing devices available, removing any stigma relating to vanity completely.
Hearing aids don’t look like this anymore.
So now is the time to book your free appointment for a test or month’s trial of devices with us at Hearing Sense today, and experience better hearing. Simply call us on 8331 8047 or check out www.hearingsense.com.au.