The stigma of hearing devices may finally be decreasing!
A new study shows that fewer and fewer feel embarrassed wearing hearing aids.
Concerns about embarrassment have long been a major reason why people with hearing loss choose not to wear hearing devices. Many people go untreated years longer than necessary.
At least it is never too late to get help. Malcolm Simon, USA, had hearing loss all his life and didn’t get his Baha sound processor until 80 years of age. And he’s happier than ever!
“It was totally ignored in those days,” says Malcolm. “While glasses were common, hearing aids were not. They weren’t acceptable and people would actually laugh at you. I’d say, ‘Listen, a person has to wear glasses if they can’t see, so what’s wrong with a person wearing hearing aids if they can’t hear?’ Nowadays, I think hearing aids are accepted by everybody. People wear stuff in their ears and over their heads for all sorts of reasons, so there’s no longer a stigma about wearing hearing aids.”
Now a study carried out in Europe in 2009, 2012 and 2015, shows a steady decline in the number of people with hearing loss who indicate they are embarrassed to wear hearing aids.
In the 2009 survey, 56% of people with hearing loss said that they felt embarrassed wearing hearing aids. In 2012, 52% felt embarrassed. In 2015 the figure had dropped to 42%.
”I’m very happy that fewer and fewer people with hearing loss will feel embarrassed to wear hearing aids”, says Secretary General Kim Ruberg, hear-it AISBL.
”But I still cannot understand why people will feel embarrassed about hearing aids. Hearing loss is quite common and nothing to be embarrassed about. And who would be embarrassed of wearing glasses if they have a problem with their vision? Hearing aids help people to hear just like glasses help people to see. I really hope that within a few years no one will feel embarrassed to wear hearing aids.”