Stigma of Hearing Loss
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one in eight, or 30 million people in the United States 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears. Roughly 25 million Americans has experienced tinnitus lasting at least five minutes in the past year, and fewer than 30 percent of adults ages 70 and older with hearing loss has ever used hearing aids.
If hearing loss is such a common problem, why are so few people seeking treatment? A study from the University of California has revealed that the stigma of hearing loss and the choice to seek treatment is related to three factors:
- Alteration of self-perception
Alongside of missing important sounds, hearing loss comes with a social stigma that contributes to the belief that people who wear hearing aids are old, less intelligent, or mentally ill. Negatively altering the self-perception of study participants, the hearing aid wearers perceived themselves differently, and frequently worried how they would appear to others while wearing the hearing aids.
Hearing loss and hearing aid stigma may influence the lack of hearing treatment, but what those suffering from hearing loss don’t understand is the direct impact hearing loss can have on your health. A Johns Hopkins Medical study revealed that a mild 25dB hearing loss can increase falling by three times. Hearing loss also plays a role in accelerated brain tissue loss and the development of dementia.
If you are ready to remove the stigma of hearing loss, contact the Physician’s Hearing Center office in Dothan, Alabama today.