In this modern age, sometimes as we grow older, we can feel devalued. This can stem from a lot of things: with retirement we may feel that we are no longer contributing meaningfully to society, or that we are not being “useful.” Other factors can weigh on us as well. As our bodies age they can begin to fail in some areas, and the stigma grows. One of these failings is with hearing loss.
When we are no longer able to easily communicate with those around us, we may feel a stigma is placed on us, and this stigma may cause us to try to deny there is a problem and therefore seek treatment.
Admitting our Weaknesses
The negative stigma towards hearing aids and the need for them has been even more of a deterrent to getting these devices than the out-of-pocket cost. After all, if I admit that I have hearing loss and that I need hearing aids, I am admitting that I have a weakness and that I am getting older.
The stigma may be intensified by family or friends who lack understanding about the challenges of hearing loss, or even by hearing aid ads themselves. When ads boast of the “invisibility” of hearing aids, it sends a message that having hearing aids is something to be ashamed of.
We know that stigma against hearing aids and hearing loss is present, and that it contributes to a delay in seeking treatment, but what can we do about it? We can start with education, both for sufferers of hearing loss, and for the general public.
Eliminating the Stigma
If the choice is between wearing hearing aids and constantly struggling to hear and communicate effectively, the choice seems clear: wear hearing aids! Today’s technology allows hearing aids to help you seamlessly and discreetly hear the world around you, so you don’t have to be embarrassed by asking people to repeat themselves or answering questions inappropriately.
Head it Off
Regular hearing screenings ensure you can detect and halt hearing loss at an early level, so it doesn’t deteriorate further. It is important to begin hearing screenings before any decline is noticed to establish a baseline off of which to compare future screening results.
The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.