Football season is upon us and with that comes a question about masculinity. During “Think Pink” month, many players are wearing pink gloves or socks during games to raise awareness of breast cancer and encourage regular screenings—a secondary message being that “real men wear pink” to support awareness. What makes a “real man”? Well, there are a lot of different definitions of what a real man is or what he does. But we think that some real men wear hearing aids. For a long time there was a stigma against hearing aids—for decades there was a certain weakness associated with wearing a hearing device. There was a culture of fear, and as we all know, fear drives misconceptions and snap judgements. Today, there is a cultural push for more health awareness and more courage. So here’s why real men use hearing aids.
Despite the fear, you are not afraid.
Fear of the unknown, fear of bad news, fear of judgement–the list goes on. But here’s the thing, a real man looks all that fear head on and moves past it. When dealing with hearing loss many people go through a period of denial because it is too hard to admit when there is a problem. A real man can move past that period of denial in order to get help. Many men who come in for an exam are hesitant at first but when they experience sounds they have not heard in a long time the fear is wiped away and replaced with joy. All the stigmas fall away and all that is left is a greater appreciation for life and living.
You will not be left out.
One of the most common side effects of hearing loss is isolation; when talking with people becomes difficult there is a breakdown in communication and there is a tendency for people to feel left out of the conversation. Men who wear hearing aids want to be involved with the community, with friends and with family–many people comment on how connected they feel after receiving hearing devices. The “I can deal with it” or the “it’s not that bad” mentality towards hearing loss is dangerous and not at all courageous. You end up missing out on so much with the “grin and bare it” mind set and frankly a real man refuses to let an outdated attitude determine whether or not he is involved and included.
You want to be actively involved in living.
Living with hearing damage without a hearing device may lead to an remarkably passive and isolated lifestyle. It becomes easier to be alone or do activities that do not require personal interaction because it is much more difficult to communicate. A man with courage would not let hearing loss get in the way of being active, enjoying the company of others and living life to the fullest. Men who use hearing aids are active participants in their own lives and that is why real men use hearing aids.
This post was written by jsolow