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Hearing loss, like most hidden disabilities, comes with a lot of baggage that makes people reluctant to talk about it. In the past, hearing loss was seen as a sign of getting old, getting sick, and losing mental abilities. But keeping things secret can hurt both professional and personal relationships and mental and physical health.
If your hearing has changed and is worsening, you might not want other people to know. One of the worst things you can do for your hearing and relationships is to act like you can’t hear.
Why we pretend
Have you ever been to a busy bar or restaurant with a close friend or family member? Someone starts talking to you, but it’s hard to hear what they’re saying because of all the other noise. You ask them to repeat it, but you still don’t get what they say. Do you stop talking altogether at that point? They seem happy to be telling you about whatever it is, and you don’t want to make them feel bad, so you smile and nod. You act like you can hear and stop trying hard to understand what they are saying.
It shouldn’t be surprising that untreated hearing loss often leads to social isolation since people who have trouble hearing in social settings tend to avoid them. When they ask you a question, you have no idea what they are talking about, and you don’t hear the question. You may feel embarrassed when you try to answer a question you didn’t hear.
Why trying to hear when you can’t is bad for your hearing.
You might find yourself in a tight spot when you act like you don’t hear. No matter what you do, your friends will be embarrassed when they find out you didn’t understand them and haven’t been able to hear them all night. It’s one thing to lie to your friends, but have you ever lied at work? What if you didn’t get what your boss told you to do or didn’t understand what your coworker said? If you don’t say you didn’t get it, you could make a big mistake that could lose you a lot of respect or even your job.
Loss of hearing and loss of money
People with hearing loss who don’t use hearing aids may make less money and be more likely to be unemployed. A study from the USA shows this to be true. The study also says that people with untreated hearing loss in the US lose an estimated $176 billion in income.
A study of more than 40,000 households in the US showed that hearing loss hurts earnings and unemployment rates. Depending on their hearing loss, people who don’t do anything about it can lose up to $30,000 a year.
Loss of hearing and being alone
Even though it might seem like a good idea, pretending to hear is bad for your hearing and health. You won’t go out with your friends for long before you start to isolate yourself. When people are alone, their minds worsen, and their hearing worsens. This is a cycle that could lead to social and emotional problems.
Get your hearing checked
You don’t have to pretend anymore, which is good. You can get help with your hearing in many ways, such as hearing aids that are especially good at picking up voices and conversations in noisy places. In reality, being unable to hear, giving the wrong answer, or asking someone to repeat themselves ten times makes you look older than wearing a hearing aid.
It is much less noticeable when you wear a slim, almost invisible hearing aid behind your ear or in your ear canal. Your friends probably won’t notice unless you tell them, which you might want to do once you realize how valuable this little device is.
Our friendly staff offers a full range of hearing health services, from hearing tests to hearing aid fittings. Get in touch with us right away to make an appointment today!