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  • Writer's pictureWidex Emirates Hearing Care

Overcoming the Stigma of Hearing Loss


stigma of hearing loss
Image Credit: https://www.centreforhearing.org

Living with hearing loss can depict distinctive challenges concerning communication and emotional well-being. One of the most significant obstacles people face is the stigma associated with hearing loss. In this blog post, we will explore different ways and strategies for breaking free from the stigma and overcoming it, boosting confidence and living a fulfilling life with hearing loss.

 

People with hearing loss connote their loss with negative stereotypes, misconceptions and societal attitudes. These factors can be massively influential whether the person gets treatment or not. They lead to isolation, lack of self-confidence and self-doubt. How can you overcome these barriers and embrace this aspect of life with a positive mindset?

 

Why Hearing Loss Became Stigmatized?


Dealing with hearing loss can be upsetting and scary. There is a stigma around treatments like hearing aids. Some people are afraid to seek help and are ashamed of their diminished hearing because of how others will perceive and treat them. This stigma is largely driven by outdated thinking about hearing health.

Sadly, this usually causes people to struggle with reduced hearing. They assume that others see them in a more negative light due to their condition. All of this leads to lot of stress.

 

Many people associate hearing loss with cognitive decline or mental problems. Consequently, they try to cover up or ignore their problem and not take the necessary steps to find the solution.

 

  1. What lies at the heart of the stigma is a damaging self-perception that having hearing loss showcases the person as handicapped or impaired.

  2. Hearing loss and hearing aids are connected with old age. People avoid wearing them because they are afraid that people see them as “old”.

  3. People might wear the hearing aids secretly or alone and avoid wearing them during social interactions.

 

Fortunately, the social stigma around hearing health can be diminished, as there are many ways to help. First, as a society, we began to understand hearing a lot better. New technology and research helped to screen and test for hearing problems in a more accurate way. Education and awareness about hearing health is improving with time. As people become more aware of the condition, there is less stigma associated with the need of a hearing aid or any other related hearing treatment.

 

How to Fight the Stigma

 

On an individual level, take a moment to consider all the pros and cons of seeking treatment. Once you list these out, you will find that the benefits of hearing better and being more engaged greatly outweighs the drawbacks.

 

  • Understand the stigma

 

To tackle the stigma surrounding hearing loss, it is important to understand how it works and to explore all the common misconceptions and stereotypes associated with it.  Educating yourself and others can promote awareness, fostering a more accepting and inclusive society.

 

The stigma of hearing loss causes shame or embarrassment to some. It prevents them from seeking support and help. Many people with hearing impairment get that feeling of “Will people think I’m disabled?” or “I’m getting old” or “Will they hire me if they know I’m wearing a hearing aid?”

 

 

No one should face the challenges of hearing loss without the help of others. Addressing the emotions and feelings holding you back from hearing loss treatment helps a lot. Connect with online communities, support groups, and organizations for individuals with hearing loss. Sharing experiences and advice from others will help you realize that you are not alone in all this journey. Building a support network provides the emotional strength and motivation needed to overcome all the obstacles, as dealing with this problem is easier if you have the support from others with similar experiences.

 

  • Find effective communication strategies

 

Communication is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships and building confidence. Being proactively engaged in conversations, you enhance your self-assurance and strengthen the connections with others.

 

  1. You can explore different communication strategies, such as lip-reading, assistive devices and sign language.

  2. You can educate your friends, colleagues and family on the best ways to communicate with you.

 

  • Advocate for yourself

 

You need to learn how to advocate for yourself when living with hearing loss. You need to express your needs, rights and preferences confidently. By speaking up for yourself, you can build an inclusive environment, empowering others with hearing loss to do the same thing, thus avoiding untreated hearing loss.

 

  1. Communicate assertively your boundaries.

 

  • Build self-esteem

 

Overcoming the stigma goes hand in hand with building self-esteem. As your own self-esteem grows, you will notice that the stigma loses its power over you.

 

  1. You have to focus on your strengths, qualities and achievements that make you unique.

  2. Engage in all activities that make you feel confident and that you enjoy.

 

Overcoming the stigma associated with hearing loss is a path that requires self-advocacy and a positive mindset. Once you understand the roots of the stigma, you can break free from all the limitations imposed by societal attitudes. Do not wait to address your reduced hearing. Schedule an appointment with your audiologist! You will be glad you did!

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