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Overcoming the Stigma of Hearing Loss

Overcoming the Stigma of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a major public health issue that affects about 20% of Americans. Yet there exists a certain stigma around this condition that results in both denial and misinformation. As an “invisible condition,” hearing loss is easy to try and ignore, deny or even dismiss, yet the consequences of untreated adult-onset hearing loss are great.

Everything from genes to noise exposure or even some medications can play a role in hearing loss. For many people, the first sign of hearing loss is often difficulty detecting high-pitched sounds. This usually impacts your ability to hear on the telephone, comfortably engage in conversations in busy settings (i.e. restaurants), or hearing children’s voices. Although this can be frustrating, many people choose not to address the issue, assuming that the loss of hearing is not profound enough to justify a trip to a specialist. Yet this could not be further from the truth. In a study that tracked 639 adults for nearly 12 years, Johns Hopkins expert Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D. found that mild hearing loss doubled the risk of dementia1.

Hearing loss also contributes to social isolation, a condition that results in little day-to-day contact with others, limits the number of fulfilling relationships and can increase the risk for addictions, depression, dementia, and even heart disease1. As hearing loss worsens, it is not uncommon for individuals to avoid conversation, knowing that it will result in frustrations or embarrassment. Consider for a moment the number of individuals in this country suffering from some level of hearing loss – approximately 48 MILLION Americans. 60% of these individuals are either in the workforce or in educational settings2, which means they are likely struggling in their day-to-day activities. Despite this, only 1 in 7 wear hearing aids, and even fewer seek out alternative solutions such as assistive devices.

At ADCO our goal is simple – to help those suffering from adult-onset hearing loss and to overcome these stigmas through finding solutions that work for their individual needs and financial situation. ADCO helps enable individuals with hearing loss to finally enjoy the sounds of life. Every day we have the pleasure of speaking with new customers, finding solutions for their challenges and better understanding the struggles that hearing loss can cause. Hearing aids are a great solution for many, although they too carry a stigma of their own. Because of this, we encourage everyone to try out an assistive listening device, which will enable you to enjoy conversations, watch television, talk on the phone or anything in between. Once you experience the difference this can make in your daily life, you may be more open to seeking out other solutions to help you overcome the burden of hearing loss.

If you are in the Denver area and would like to better understand your own hearing loss, please give us a call to schedule a FREE basic hearing screening in our store. However, regardless of your location, please give us a call and speak with one of our product experts. If you or a loved one are struggling with hearing loss we can help you find the right solution.

To kick off Better Hearing Month, we are offering amazing deals on our top three assistive listening devices. Visit our Better Hearing Month page for more details!

Sources: 1 Johns Hopkins Medicine: Healthy Aging. The Hidden Risks of Hearing Loss.

2 Hearing Loss Association of America. Basic Facts About Hearing Loss.

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