Hearing loss is actually one of the most common ailments and it affects people of all ages, not just the elderly. It is the 3rd most common condition affecting Americans behind heart disease and arthritis. That is one of the reasons why the audiology industry is seeing that the stigma of hearing loss is slowly starting to fade away. In our blog today, we will be exploring the reasons why the stigma of hearing loss is fading and how to confront the stigma head-on if you are facing hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Statistics
Just how common is hearing loss? It is more prevalent among senior populations because of hearing loss due to ageing. However, a recent study published by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery describes how hearing loss is on the rise across all ages of our population and why. Some of the points in the study highlight just how common hearing loss are:
- We will see a gradual increase in hearing loss in adults over the next 43 years.
- U.S. adults 20 years and older will see an increase in hearing loss. By 202 15% of adults are expected to have hearing loss, which puts the number at a staggering 44 million people.
- The increase is predicted to be greatest in adults in senior populations. By 2020, 55% of adults 70 years or older will have hearing loss and by 2060, that percentage is predicted to increase to 67%.
- Currently, two in every three adults 70 years or older in the U.S. have ‘clinically meaningful hearing loss.
Why is There a Stigma Surrounding Hearing Loss?
So if hearing loss is so prevalent, why is there this stigma surrounding hearing loss? There are a few reasons why:
- Hearing loss used to be only associated with older people.
- Hearing aid technology has come a long way, but hearing aids of old used to whistle and cause feedback sounds. That made people feel embarrassed about wearing them.
- Hearing loss (especially in children) can cause learning disabilities.
How to Break Through the Stigma of Hearing Loss
As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, the main reason that we see society breaking the stigma of hearing loss is how prevalent it is now and how much it is going to increase in the coming years. When something is so common, then the negative stigma associated with it starts to melt away as more people learn from experience and become more empathetic as they “join the club”. The other major reason we see the breaking of the stigma of hearing loss is the advances in hearing aid technology. Hearing aids are powerful tools that are rich in technology and able to interface into all aspects of your digital life and entertainment as well. The hearing aids of today are definitely not your grandfather’s hearing aids. They don’t whistle or give feedback like old models did in the past. In fact, many styles of hearing aids are “cool” and even fashionable. If you don’t want your hearing aids to be seen, many styles can be virtually invisible.
Consult with the Experts at Smithtown / Sayville Hearing Services
If you want to learn more, just let us know. Contact us today to schedule a FREE assessment. We’d love to see you and answer anything you’ve got for us. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are dedicated to your hearing health and all aspects of your life, living with hearing loss!