7 Myths About Hearing Loss
Many myths surround hearing loss and prevent people from seeking help. Hearing loss affects over 35 million Americans and is one of the most common disabilities in the country. Yet most people will wait for years before having a hearing assessment. Good hearing can change your life, so let’s check the facts make the right choice for your hearing.
Myth #1: My doctor will tell me if I have hearing loss
Fact: only 14% of doctors perform routine hearing tests, so they will not know if your hearing is impaired. Even if your doctor does screen for hearing loss, in the quiet office environment they may fail to recognize the extent of your disability. At Atlanta Hearing Doctor, we specialize in comprehensive hearing services.
Myth #2: Hearing loss only affects the elderly
Fact: Over half of those with hearing loss are under the age of 65. While hearing loss does increase with age, hearing loss affects all age groups. It’s caused by many factors other than aging, such as noisy work environments, loud leisure events, and the wide-spread use of personal music players.
Myth #3: I have one bad ear but the other is just fine
Fact: Unfortunately, even if you think you have one good ear, there’s a high chance you have two bad ears. Because one ear is worse than the other, you may think the good ear is “normal”. Even though you favour your “good ear” in conversations, both are impaired. In fact, 90% of hearing aid users need hearing aids for both ears.
Myth #4: If everyone would just talk louder, I’d be able to hear.
Fact: Having people shout at you is not the answer. Shouting distorts the voice, making it even harder to understand, and can cause embarrassment. Hearing loss affects high frequency sounds, like the voices of women and children, so increasing the volume will not make these frequencies any easier to hear.
Myth #5: It’s ok to wait a while before getting hearing aids
Fact: The longer you wait before getting hearing aids, the harder it will be to treat hearing loss. Since the auditory pathways in your brain are not being stimulated, these cells begin to die. Once they are lost there is no going back, so waiting until your hearing loss is profound means only a little hearing can be restored.
Living with hearing loss greatly increases your chances of developing dementia, since the brain is less stimulated. Hearing aids can also reduce the risk of falls by improving balance and spatial cues.
Myth #6: Hearing aids are obvious and ugly
Fact: Hearing aid design continues to improve, and current hearing aids are very discreet. Many styles will fit into the ear or ear canal, and come in many colors to match your skin tone. Some are even completely invisible. They will not make you look “old”, but will help you appear young as you participate fully in the conversations around you. Hearing loss left untreated is far more obvious than any hearing aid.
Myth #7: Hearing aids restore hearing
Fact: Hearing aids can change your life, giving you easy communication and vibrant sound. However, they cannot bring back the hearing you have lost. Hearing aids can be programed to suit your needs, and give you clarity of sound, but cannot repair damage to the ear or auditory pathways.
We hope we’ve helped dispel some of these myths! If you believe you are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Atlanta Hearing Doctor today.