Why are People Ashamed of Hearing Loss?

Why Are People Ashamed of Hearing Loss?

In Family & Relationships, hearing loss by Candace Wawra

Candace Wawra

On average, Americans wait seven to ten years from the time they notice changes in their hearing to the time they seek treatment from a professional. The reasons for this vary from person to person. However, there often tends to be an underlying shame around hearing loss. Why is this so prevalent? Why are so many Americans ashamed of hearing loss and hearing aids?

Unfortunately, there are quite a few misleading “reasons” people tend to be shameful of hearing loss. Together, we analyze each of these misconceptions and the reasons they are untrue.

Misconceptions About Hearing Loss

“Only Old People Experience Hearing Loss”

We hear this one quite often. For some reason, our society has become convinced of the false notion that hearing loss is reserved for the elderly. This is simply not the case. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 15% of children aged 6-19 experienced some degree of hearing loss. For adults aged 20-69, this number remains relatively the same, around 14%. These numbers are only expected to rise. The World Health Organization estimates that about 1.1 billion young people are at risk of developing noise induced hearing loss due to their personal listening devices and noisy leisure activities.

Hearing loss can happen to anyone, at any age, and should not be used as a marker for “getting old”.

“People with Hearing Loss are Incompetent at Work”

Many people are ashamed of their hearing loss or shy away from getting a hearing screen because they are worried about how they will be perceived at work. Unfortunately for those who leave their hearing loss untreated – avoiding hearing treatment can have some serious consequences at work. Studies have found that people who choose to treat their hearing loss with hearing aids were more likely to have earned promotions than their peers with untreated hearing loss, and were also seen as more intelligent and capable than individuals with untreated hearing loss.

On top of workplace perception, treating hearing loss with hearing aids can also have positive benefits on your wallet. It was recently reported that families where at least one income earner had untreated hearing loss earned about $12,000 less per year than families with no hearing loss. Luckily, treating hearing loss with hearing aids was able to mitigate 90-100% of the income gap between though with and without hearing loss.

Treating hearing loss allows you to better understand and participate in workplace discussions, thus making users more competent at the workplace.

“Hearing Aids are Ugly, Bulky and Embarrassing”

When many of us envision “hearing aids”, we often see images of the bulky eyesores our grandfathers used to wear. Hearing aids of yesteryear were extremely unsightly, and only came in that one beige color that rarely matched one’s skin tone. They also screeched and screamed annoying feedback noise.

Luckily, the hearing aids of today are nothing like grandpas hearing devices. Modern hearing aids are manufactured to be small, discreet and sleek. Many hearing aid manufacturers have even created hearing aids that are worn completely inside the ear canal, and are virtually invisible to others. They are also able to pack powerful technology into their tiny packages. Gone are the days of frequent feedback sounds and frustrating difficulty with adjusting hearing aids.

Today’s hearing aids are incredible, and can even be so discreet that no one will even notice you are wearing them.

“Hearing Loss is a Disability”

It is true that people with hearing loss are considered a protected class under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), however, this is nothing to be ashamed of! Severe vision loss is also a protected class under this law, and no one thinks twice about using glasses to help you see better. Using hearing aids can greatly reduce the listening effort needed to hear and understand conversations, and can make wearers feel as though they have no disability at all.

Hearing loss is a disability. So what? Treating it greatly reduces and mitigates the negative impact it has on your life.

Hearing Wellness Solutions

At Hearing Wellness Solutions of Springfield, we provide advanced testing techniques, modern equipment, and verification on your hearing prescription to ensure that you get the most out of your investment in hearing wellness. Our Services include hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, hearing aid maintenance and more. We service the Springfield area, including Ozark, Nixa, Republic, Willard, Rogersville, Strafford and Aurora. Contact us today to set up an appointment!