One in 10 Americans experience some level of hearing loss and the impact of this condition affects the communities that surround those people as well. Hearing loss can negatively affect relationships, workplaces and social interactions.
The fear of being isolated or viewed differently by their peers because of hearing loss leads many people to have a negative attitude towards hearing aids. This is unfortunate considering hearing aids can effectively treat hearing loss in 95 percent of cases.
According to a 2010 study published by Margaret I. Wallhagen, Ph.D., the embarrassment associated with the perceived hearing loss stigma leads many people to avoid treatment such as hearing aids.
The study found that the reason so many are reluctant to try hearing aids despite the helpfulness of the technology is the feeling that hearing aids will affect how others see them. The study found three factors associated with hearing loss stigma affected participants’ attitudes before trying hearing aids: altered self perception, ageism and vanity.
People in the study tended to think more negatively about themselves, their age and their physical appearance when asked how others would view them if they tried hearing aids.
While these are legitimate concerns, new technology has allowed for hearing aids that are customizable, more discreet and even invisible. The study also found that the negative responses from study participants were greatly diminished once they tried the more discreet hearing aids!
Don’t let hearing loss stigma hold you back from hearing your best. Better hearing can allow more participation in daily activities and therefore an improved quality of life. If you or a loved one is experiencing difficulty hearing, don’t shy away from effective treatment.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We can discuss possible treatment options including newer, more discreet hearing aids.