It’s the dawn of a new era for those who are fearful of the most pervasive stigma associated with hearing loss— the hearing aid.
Long gone are the bulky devices that the Greatest Generation, unfortunately, stigmatized as a sign of weakness. From animal horn to smart revolution medical tool, customizing a person’s hearing ability is more of an art form than ever before.
In fact, some hearing aid manufacturers are making devices so small they’re almost completely invisible. So even if you or a loved one with hearing loss just won’t let go of that stigma, there’s always an option.
Men, in particular, have been the hardest to let go of said stigma. In a piece for Harvard Medical School, otologist Dr. Steven Rauch of Massachusetts Eye and Ear offered up some insight into the emotions behind this: “To them, hearing aids symbolize declining age and health and that their best years are behind them.”
This conversation can get philosophical quickly in a kind of eye-of-the-beholder way. The essential truth remains the same: even in the face of futuristic hearing aid technology and fashion, the most powerful de-stigmatizing tool available is an individual’s acceptance.
Hearing aids, quite simply, have always strived to make hearing less stressful on the auditory system. Therefore, any negative association with wearing them is completely in the power of those that choose to better their hearing.
In other words, what’s worse? Living in fear of hearing device stigmas and actually being disconnected to the full sounds and experiences of life by a hearing impairment? Or accepting a hearing impairment and living the life you want to live, staying engaged, socially active, and mentally sharp?
Many scientific studies in the past have confirmed the negative impacts associated with hearing loss: depression, anxiety, social isolation, and even early onset dementia. Most of these issues stem from communication difficulties without help.
Meanwhile, wearers of hearing aids report improvements in their romance, sense of humor and general feelings of self, self-confidence and independence.
With hearing aids, stigma or no stigma, you’re more equipped to understand the nuances of others and yourself, and the relationship dynamics that matter to you.
Are you experiencing symptoms related to hearing loss? You may benefit from a hearing test. Contact Precision Hearing at 352-765-8008 to schedule a free consultation with the area’s only Board Certified Audiologist. Or, learn more about your hearing health by visiting www.precisionhearingfl.com.
 Solan, M. (2016, November 25). Now Hear This, Men: Hearing Aids Can Be a Life Changer. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/now-hear-men-hearing-aids-can-life-changer-2016112510674
 Mener DJ, Betz J, Genther DJ, Chen D, Lin FR. (2013) Hearing loss and depression in older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 61(9):1627-1629.
 Better Hearing Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://betterhearing.org/press/news/Customer_satisfaction_hearing_aids_pr08292011.cfm. Quoted in BHI Survey: Hearing Aids Help Majority of Users to Regain Quality of Life via the Hearing Review. (2011). Retrieved from: https://www.hearingreview.com/hearing-products/hearing-aids/bhi-survey-hearing-aids-help-majority-of-users-to-regain-quality-of-life