People who experience a loss of hearing have to deal with adapting to a life with hearing aids, which can be challenging when stigmas and negative stereotypes get in the way. Historically, hearing loss was seen as an ailment, and even a disability because children who suffered from hearing loss often had trouble learning. According to the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses, people tend to view the hard of hearing with a mixture of scorn, fear, misunderstanding, and pity.
Unfortunately, anyone can be affected by hearing loss. In fact, roughly one in ten people in the United States have some level of hearing impairment. While 95 percent of the hearing loss suffered by people can be treated with hearing aids, only 20 percent of those who experience some level of hearing loss choose to correct it, because of the social stigma attached to hearing aids. Here are three ways you can overcome the social stigma associated with wearing hearing aid devices.
Address the Stigma
One of the best ways that you can overcome the social stigma of hearing loss and wearing hearing aids is by advocating for yourself. Don’t be afraid of letting others know that you have difficulty hearing. Hiding the situation from your friends and family can make social conditions worse because they may think that you aren’t paying attention to the discussion. When you can speak up about your loss of hearing, you will gradually start to help to lower the stigma for you and others, advises NuearHearing. The first step to reducing the social stigma associated with wearing hearing aids is to speak with your friends and family.
Take Advantage of Technology
Many people who view hearing loss negatively might not understand that you won’t have to wear bulky devices. With a large selection of nearly invisible hearing aids for you, it is easier than ever to hear conversations with background noise, to hear in a lecture hall or auditorium setting, and to maintain your lifestyle to its fullest. Whether you like to go to the theater or love to hike with your family, the newest generation of hearing aids has features and settings that make this possible.
Unlike the hearing aids of the past, today’s models can go virtually unnoticed, which can dramatically decrease the negative connotation associated with hearing aids. With new features like Bluetooth and telecoils, hearing aids can become a simple part of daily life.
Get Educated On Your Condition
More and more people will become accepting and conscious of hearing loss as they get more educated about the condition. For some reason, there has always been strong resistance to hearing aids, especially if you find out for the first time that you need a hearing aid. Thankfully, there are more options available now than ever before, which can help to eliminate the stigma for users of hearing aids.
With newly customizable hearing aids available and digital settings, transitioning to hearing aids can be seamless. If you are suffering from hearing loss, talking about your condition can help to eliminate the stigma that is associated with wearing hearing aids.