Let’s talk about hearing loss, hearing health, and the world of hearing technology. The more we talk about it, the less mystery it call becomes and the closer we can all get to destigmatizing hearing aids. Much of the time hearing loss is invisible and hearing devices can be easily hidden, so why is it important to talk about? Because many of us use denial to ignore or conceal hearing loss. This attitude surrounding hearing aids is what keeps them stigmatized! Many times it is easy to fall into a pattern of ignoring hearing loss and the reality of needing hearing devices.
We are afraid to mention the taboo subject with friends, family, co-workers, etc. Hiding our hearing devices behind long hair is a long standing tradition for those of us who do not want to show our hearing aids. Many of us will never advocate for ourselves to sit at the quieter part of a restaurant or to move locations away from all the noise at a gathering. So where does this attitude come from? Fear. The fear of being embarrassed, the fear of miscommunication, the fear of showing any kind of weakness to one another.
Well at Wesson Hearing Aid Center we are here to say that today is the first day of the rest of your hearing health life! No more hiding hearing aids behind long hair or avoiding people who are harder to hear! We want to change the game. Instead of trying to push hearing loss down and away from the conversation we want the world to shed light on hearing difficulties. The legacy of stigma and the ludicrous shame that comes from hearing issues has got to stop!
We need to set an example for our children and grandchildren — if they were experiencing hearing issues wouldn’t we be their biggest advocates? So why can’t we do that for ourselves? We need to stand up and refuse to feel embarrassed for bettering our lives. We have to get rid of the shame and denial of a problem that affects almost 50 million Americans. So what can we do? Talk about it, write about it, speak up! We need to be advocates for ourselves and for each other. Tell your friends, family, co- workers, loved ones, and any who will listen — it only gets easier when we start vocalizing what hearing loss is like and what life is like with hearing devices. People want to know, they may just be afraid to ask.
There is a certain kind of stereotype and stigma that surrounds hearing loss that makes many of us feel like we need to hide it or deny it. This is the worst approach because it can lead to isolation and depression, which has become the case for millions of people. The more we talk about hearing loss the more people will become familiarized and comfortable with it — this is a win for us all. By sharing our stories maybe we can even help others accept their hearing loss and get the much needed care that only hearing devices can provide!