Isn’t it time that we end the stigma related to wearing hearing aids and hearing loss?
Since inclusion has become pervasive in today’s society, why not let go of any negative images of hearing loss? Here at Hidden Hearing we know that people of any age can have hearing loss and that wearing hearing aids is a smart solution to a challenge. Let’s all let go of any negative associations to hearing loss.
Not just “old people” have hearing loss
Some people equate wearing hearing aids with old age, but it simply isn’t true. Plenty of young people have
hearing loss and use hearing aids or implants.
Why is there a stigma? Self-perception, ageism and vanity
Even though many younger people have it, hearing loss continues to be thought of as something only old people experience. It isn’t. Nor is it anything to be embarrassed about. Yet, recent research shows that stigma remains an issue. Back in 2010, The Gerontologist conducted research focused on stigma and hearing loss, and how these may impact an individual’s decision to wear hearing aids. The researchers found that perceived stigma did make a difference in whether people with hearing loss accepted hearing aids and how well they adapted to them. People in the study expressed concerns about being seen as old or worried that people may stare at them if they were wearing hearing aids. But this isn’t new. The study noted that the concept of stigma dates back to the ancient Greeks and that people labelled stigma to alterations in self-perception, ageism and vanity.
Society has changed rapidly over the past decade
Assistive technologies, such as hearing aids, play an integral role in helping people with challenges integrate fully into society. Getting to know people with hearing loss, seeing how well they manage with hearing aids at home, work and in the community helps break down any residual stigma.
Hearing loss is an invisible disability
You can’t see if someone has hearing loss, so sometimes it’s hard to tell if they struggle to hear you. A hearing aid may be the only clue. Hearing aid manufactures understand that aesthetics count. Sometimes hearing aids are so well-hidden that they’re even invisible. Others have a sleek design, available in many colours, including a variety of skin-tones. Some people choose to flaunt the latest in hearing aids designs and pick bolder colours, like blues or pinks. And why not? We think that hearing aids are nothing to hide!
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