The Effects of Losing your Hearing

Hearing loss is often thought to be limited to only a lack of sound input in the ears. But is it really just that simple? In reality, the effects of hearing damage range far beyond your ears; they affect your brain and your entire physical and psychological health and well-being. This is why it is important to become aware of just how serious hearing loss can be.

People with hearing loss are often unaware of their hearing problem, and even when they become aware it can take them anywhere between 6 years and a decade before they seek any treatment! This only worsens an already serious problem.

Recent research found that out of every 10 people, 9 of them do not use hearing aids to rectify mild levels of hearing impairment. In the same study, it was also found that out of every 10 participants, 6 of them with medium to severe loss of hearing were not using hearing aids.

The seriousness of hearing loss if often mitigated since it is invisible in nature. People are often in denial about their hearing problem out of fear of being stigmatized and discriminated against. We often see and hear jokes regarding deaf people, which only add to the shame and stigma. This is why many people end up delaying their treatment, which only ends up worsening their hearing loss.

Hearing loss affects all our life; from personal relationships to vocational efficiency, hearing loss hampers our communication and performance skills. It has been reported that those with hearing loss actually lose a significant amount of their earning potential each year as a direct result of their hearing problem. Our romantic relationships, family relationships, and social relationships all become strained and we feel isolated and withdrawn as a result of hearing loss.

Hearing aids are a wonderful solution to hearing loss, although many people do not end up using them for various reasons. Primarily, it was found in a 1999 survey conducted by the National Council on Aging that most participants thought that their hearing problem was not serious enough to warrant the use of hearing aids.

Based on the same survey, another reason people shy away from using hearing aids is because even though hearing loss is invisible, using hearing aids is overtly visible to others and can make people feel “old” or even “embarrassed.” Strangely, those same people who do not use hearing aids feel equally embarrassed if not more, for being unable to participate in conversations due to their hearing loss.

Hearing loss is an irreversible problem which can adversely affect every aspect of your daily life. It can result in cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, diabetes, and depression. This is why it is important not to neglect your hearing problem and treat it in a timely manner.