Breaking the Stigma: Embracing Help for Hearing Loss with Freedom Hearing

October 30, 2023

By Albert Valino


When it comes to hearing loss, many Australians are complacent and believe it won’t affect them. But let’s set the record straight: Hearing loss is more common than you might think, especially among those over 45.

Research indicates that one in six Australians has some form of hearing loss. This number increases dramatically as we age, with up to three out of every four people over the age of 70 experiencing some form of hearing loss. What’s even more alarming is that this number is predicted to rise due to factors like increased noise pollution and an ageing population.

Why is this significant for those of us over 45? Well, middle age is often when the first signs of hearing loss start to appear. It might begin subtly — missing snippets of conversations or turning up the TV volume more than you used to. These changes can be easy to dismiss, but they could be early indicators that your hearing isn’t what it used to be.

Unfortunately, despite these statistics, many Aussies are reluctant to seek help. Often, the stigma attached to hearing loss holds people back. But remember, you’re far from alone if you’re experiencing this. With so many others in the same boat, seeking help shouldn’t be something to avoid.

Understanding the Stigma Surrounding Hearing Loss

Let’s have a real talk about the stigma that surrounds hearing loss. You’d think we’d be more open about such a widespread issue, but unfortunately, that’s far from the case.

So, what’s the hold-up? Why are so many of us reluctant to seek help?

Outdated Stereotypes

One of the main hurdles is the outdated stereotype that hearing loss is solely an “old person’s issue.” While it’s true that the risk increases as we age, it can affect people at any stage of life. Yet this misconception persists, making many feel embarrassed about something they have little control over.

The ‘Invisible’ Condition

Hearing loss often flies under the radar because it’s not immediately visible. Unlike wearing glasses for vision correction, which has become entirely mainstream and socially acceptable, using hearing aids still carries a different kind of weight in public perception. This ‘invisibility’ sometimes makes people delay seeking help, as they believe it’s not ‘serious’ enough to warrant attention.

Fear of Social Exclusion

Another aspect is the fear of social exclusion or being treated differently. Nobody wants to feel left out or pitied, and that’s a genuine concern for many experiencing hearing loss. This fear often keeps people from using hearing aids, attending social gatherings less frequently, and, as a result, feeling isolated.

The ‘Just Get On with It’ Attitude

We Aussies often have a “just get on with it” attitude. While this can-do spirit serves us well in many situations, when it comes to hearing loss, it can be detrimental. Many people think they can “manage” without seeking medical help, but all they’re doing is missing out on the fullness of life and the sounds that come with it.

So, how do we break the cycle? The first step is talking about it openly. Knowledge is power, and by addressing the misconceptions head-on, we can change societal perceptions around hearing loss.

The Physical and Emotional Costs of Untreated Hearing Loss

If you’ve been putting off dealing with your hearing loss, it’s crucial to understand that the costs go far beyond just missing out on conversations or your favourite tunes. There are real, tangible, physical and emotional risks that come with letting hearing loss go untreated.

Risk of Accidents

Firstly, our ability to hear plays a significant role in our spatial awareness. When you can’t hear well, perceiving your environment fully becomes challenging, which can lead to accidents. Impaired hearing can increase the risk of accidental injury, whether it’s not hearing a car approaching while you’re out for a walk or missing a crucial sound cue that something’s amiss at home.

Emotional Toll: The Risk of Depression

The emotional impact can be just as damaging, if not more so. Imagine constantly struggling to follow conversations or feeling like you’re ‘out of the loop’ when you’re with friends or family. It’s frustrating and can often lead to feelings of isolation or depression. It’s not just about missing the latest gossip; it’s about missing meaningful connections with the people who make life worth living.

Strain on Relationships

Untreated hearing loss can also put a strain on relationships. Loved ones may feel hurt or misunderstood when communication breaks down. Conversations can become more like chores rather than enjoyable exchanges, and this can erode the quality of the relationships that are most dear to us.

Cognitive Decline

Emerging research also indicates a link between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline. When your brain has to work overtime to fill in the gaps in your hearing, it has less energy for other essential tasks like memory and reasoning.

So, it’s not just about ‘hearing better.’ It’s about living better, being present with the people around you, and engaging fully in the world around you. Treating hearing loss isn’t admitting defeat; it’s an empowering step towards a fuller, healthier life. Don’t let stigma hold you back; take control and rediscover the sounds that make life rich and fulfilling.

Rediscovering the Sounds of Life with Freedom Hearing

At Freedom Hearing, we understand that every individual is unique, and so is their experience with hearing loss. That’s why we offer personalised hearing healthcare tailored to your specific needs. Our dedicated audiologists take the time to get to know you and understand your lifestyle. This enables us to recommend hearing solutions that genuinely fit your needs.

No Commissions, Just Honest Advice

Did you know our audiologists are not motivated by commissions or sales incentives? That’s right—our clinical staff are focused solely on finding the hearing aid device that best suits your level of hearing loss and lifestyle. This no-commission policy ensures that you’re getting genuine, unbiased advice, which we reckon is essential for your health and well-being.

Making Quality Hearing Aids Accessible

We understand that budget can be a concern, which is why Freedom Hearing works tirelessly to make hearing technology more accessible. Whether through the Australian Government’s Hearing Services Program (HSP), workers’ compensation claims for noise-induced hearing loss, or private healthcare policies, we help you navigate the options to find an affordable solution. And for those who aren’t eligible for free aid, we offer flexible zero-interest payment plans to ease the financial burden.

Breaking the Stigma Together

By providing this level of personalised care and access to the latest technology, we’re actively working to break down the stigma around hearing loss. The more people understand that effective, discreet, and personalised solutions are available, the more we can normalise the conversation around hearing loss. After all, getting a hearing aid should be as accepted and stigma-free as getting a pair of glasses.

With Freedom Hearing, it’s not just about enhancing your ability to hear; it’s about enhancing your quality of life.

So, if you’ve been holding back, now’s the time to take that first step. Rediscover the sounds of life and embrace a world full of richness, connection, and joy. CLICK HERE to book your FREE hearing check.

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