Hearing Aid Stigma: A Solution

Thursday, December 19, 2013 Stef dela Cruz, MD 0 Comments

Have you ever noticed how people actually might think you’re cute when you wear eyeglasses – but that they think you’re “getting old” when you wear a hearing aid? It’s unfair, isn’t it? Yes, it’s a perfect example of double standards. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it. 

Vision problems have become socially acceptable. So what if you don’t have perfect vision? It’s alright. But having a hearing impairment doesn’t come with the same social acceptance.

Stigma of Hearing Aids: Conquering Double Standards

A lot of people even use the word “deaf” as part of an insult. Over time, hearing problems have earned a negative connotation. And that’s sad, given how a lot of people refuse to wear their hearing aids just because they “might be judged because of it”.

It may take a long time before people accept hearing impairment just as well as vision problems. But we don’t have to wait. There is a way to skirt this issue.

Overcoming Prejudice with “Invisible” Hearing Aids

If you have a hearing problem and you’re too afraid to wear your hearing aid just because your friends might tease you about it or your boss might think you’re not fit to work, there’s something you can do about it. Pick a hearing aid that people can barely see.

Sight vs Sound - Hidden Hearing Infographic
Sight vs Sound provided by Hidden Hearing

Yes, the technology exists. A lot of hearing aids can actually be placed strategically deeper in the ear so that others don’t even realize you wear one.

We hope that one day, people who have difficulty hearing normally don’t have to hide their condition. Until then, we can rely on amazing technology that is aesthetically pleasing and much more socially acceptable.

Take note: It’s not the most ideal solution as it doesn’t address the double standards directly. But if you’re getting tired of people patronizing you because of your hearing condition, wearing a high-tech hearing aid is a pretty neat solution that still gets the job done.

Have you ever been judged because of your condition? Have you ever failed to get your dream job because of it? What did you do to overcome the prejudice? Share your story in the comments section – it just might inspire someone who is experiencing the same thing you once went through!

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a vegan doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She is the editor of The Manila Bulletin's Animal Scene Magazine. Get in touch if you want to invite her as a speaker!