Cultural Views - Micro Hearing Aid

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Cultural Views

Hearing Loss
Our culture often regards hearing loss as a stigma. People frequently do not get help because we simply don't talk about it. It's a sign of advancing age. Yet, like impaired vision, it is one of the most common health problems worldwide. Unlike impaired vision, hearing loss is often made fun of. People with hearing loss often have to deal with the perception that their intelligence or grasp on reality is unsound, simply because they don't hear something correctly.

The analogy to impaired vision is useful, because hearing loss is such a similar phenomenon. The way both hearing loss and vision impairment are diagnosed (by a doctor or a technician), treated (with hardware that compensates for the loss) and dispensed (by trained clinicians) is strikingly similar. Yet eyeglasses are free of stigma - indeed, they're a fashion statement - while the wisdom of hearing instruments to improve ones skills and pleasure continues less quickly to enjoy favour in many social areas.

One reason is that people understand the physiology behind poor eyesight more clearly than that of poor hearing. Another reason is that (eyeglasses) spectacles have been around a lot longer. But it's only a matter of time before hearing instruments command a similar status. That shift is now taking place, as an increasingly younger group of people experience hearing loss and seek treatment. These changing demographics are helping to bring a very mainstream complaint into the popular dialogue.

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