“Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us from people” (Keller H. , 1911), along with deafness and hearing aids comes a social stigma attached to it. The society needs to think from the point of people who are not as blessed as others. Put yourself in the shoe of a person who is challenged when it comes to hearing and you will realise the stigma’s that are attached with it and how it prevents people from living their lives to the fullest.    A challenged person is greatly affected because of his difference in two ways, first when even though he wears the hearing aid the negative impact that breaks him and second when not wearing the hearing aid has a greater jolt on him. “The size of the social stigma is out of proportion compared to that of eyeglasses, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs” (Chen, 2013).The world we live in keeps on creating stereotypes and prejudices which makes people wearing hearing aids uncomfortable. Name calling is something that comes along with wearing hearing aids. The tag of ‘abnormal’ is attached to the person who is seen wearing hearing aids. Individual who wears the device is often a victim of depression and isolation which brings down the self-esteem of the person. Gradually the society starts rejecting people who are classified as ‘abnormal people’ and ‘handicap’. Stigma can lead to people having dissociative identity disorder, individuals start having a maladaptive behavior. We as humans have a very wrong habit of forming opinions and conclusions about people for anything and everything hence it’s the human tendency that we tend to judge a being if we see the person with hearing aids. Often humans are embarrassed to be in public with hearing aids being seen, they relate to hearings aids as something one needs to be ashamed of. Why would anyone want to be treated differently, everyone wants to be the perfect human in the eyes of the surrounding. There are times when it gets disturbing when the individuals around give way too much of attention and are extra sweet. It makes one realise and think more about the challenge he/she is going through, and only brings down the morale and reduces confidence.      It’s a terrible situation where the challenged people are left in, one side where wearing hearing aids puts them in a low phase and if they don’t wear it then also there are consequences. There are instances when a challenged keeps on repeating the word ‘pardon’ or does not respond to a situation immediately people perceive them to be slow learners and start considering them as deaf and dumb. Having a hearing problem can make the process of responding to others slower which leads to them being recognized as ignorant and lazy. If someone’s behavior is slightly different and not what they classify it is normal people start out casting them hence this creates a fear for people to admit about their problem of hearing impairment as they considered it to be a threat to their social identity. No one wants to experience the feeling of being unwanted and companionless. Without hearing aids, it’s not always possible for the challenged to understand what the other person is trying to communicate to him and he ends up communicating very loudly, seeing this person doesn’t wish to keep social contact as they feel such challenged people are an embarrassment for them to be seen around in public. Hearing loss also indirectly effects in reducing the speech intelligibility. Since hearing loss is invisible it makes people assume that the challenged is being rude and stupid when they respond inappropriately. In such cases, the challenged is left with no option but to not wear hearing aids. Individual’s find it easier to cope up without hearing aids as they can abscond public without getting noticed. The pressure of people judging them with hearing aids on is like a big pile of rock on their head whose weight they cannot bear. It eventually leads them in the direction of not wearing hearing aids and putting their health at a greater risk.       We need to think about how we talk about “Hearing Impairment” there is no need to look at the people differently just because they have a device attached behind their ear which is a support to make their life better. The more open the society is about hearing impairment it will be a contribution from our part to make someone’s life a grade better. Educating the community around us is the ideal way to break the stigma of hearing health. Hearing aids should be customisable, affordable and openly available to those who are in need of it which will prevent them from being so conscious about their difference and palliate them to open up to their surroundings. Our small change in the way of thinking will bring a big change in their life.       References:Is there a stigma attached to hearing loss?http://www.ageukhearingaids.co.uk/hearing-aid-news/there-stigma-attached-hearing-lossStigma Regarding Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids: A Scoping Reviewhttps://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/sah-sah0000022.pdflet’s talk about hearing – by Katherine Boutonwww.hearingloss.org/sites/default/files/docs/HLM_MayJun2016_KBouton.pdfOvercoming social stigmas of hearing aidshttps://www.healthyhearing.com/report/51480-Overcoming-social-stigmas-of-hearing-aidsNegative Stigma is concern for people with hearing loss.https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52576-Seniors-worried-about-the-stigma-of-hearing-aidsHearing aids for children should not carry a social stigma.http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/family-education/article/1291409/hearing-aids-children-should-not-carry-social-stigmaOvercoming the Stigma Associated with hearing loss.https://www.starkey.com/blog/2014/02/Overcoming-the-stigma-associated-with-hearing-loss

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