Hearing loss is sometimes referred to as an “invisible disability,” because it’s not always obvious when people have hearing loss, and it’s not often talked about. Studies show that only 1 in 5 people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one, and on average, people with hearing loss wait almost 10 years before they seek treatment. If people knew how much the quality of their life could improve with treatment for hearing loss, why would they put it off?
Often, it’s related to cost, but other times it has to do with the stigma that hearing loss carries. People might associate hearing loss with being elderly or don’t want to wear hearing aids because there are unfashionable.
Hearing loss is a common problem throughout the world, but there are still a lot of widespread myths about hearing loss myths that haven’t gone away. It’s important to de-stigmatize hearing loss and be open about how it can affect people’s lives, both positively and negatively. Here are some popular misconceptions about hearing loss that you should know.
Myth: All Hearing Loss is the Same
No two people are alike – so, it stands to reason that they will not experience hearing loss in the same manner. Hearing loss manifests in many different forms and can be caused by any number of circumstances. Some people are deaf from birth, while others will lose their hearing gradually over time. Some people experience sounds as not being loud enough, while others can hear everything at the proper volume but be unable to focus on individual sounds. What’s important if you have hearing loss is to get treatment early to slow its progression.
Myth: You Would Know If You Were Losing Your Hearing
A lot of people think that hearing loss is easily detected and happens suddenly, as if it happens overnight. The truth is that hearing loss usually happens so gradually that most people aren’t aware that they have a problem.
Myth: Hearing Aids Restore Hearing
Today’s hearing aids are technological marvels. Their sensitive microphones can focus on speech while tuning out background noise, they can be programmed with the touch of a smart phone and they work in tandem with many other personal electronic devices in our lives. The one thing hearing aids cannot do is restore your hearing to perfectly “normal.” As much as we’ve learned about how our sense of hearing works, there is no man-made device that can completely replicate human hearing. What hearing aids can do is significantly improve your ability to hear well, which leads to enhanced communication with family, friends and co-workers.
Myth: Hearing Aids Look Unsightly
Traditionally hearing aids have been known for their bulky, clunking appearance. Modern hearing aids have modern stealth styles that make them discreet while still being easy to use. They also feature advanced technologies than can make then near invisible or completely invisible in the ear canal. Unless you are willing to wear and adapt to a hearing aid, you’ll never be able to enjoy the many benefits they bring to those with hearing loss.
Myth: Hearing Loss is Just Part of Old Age
Approximately 20 percent of Americans — around 48 million Americans of all ages —have some degree of hearing loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, hearing loss occurs in five out of every 1,000 newborns each year in the United States. Hearing loss can be caused by any number of factors: ototoxic medication, noisy work or hobbies, disease or genetics. In some cases, the cause of hearing loss is simply unknown.
Teens and young adults are at risk for developing a very preventable type of hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is one of the most common causes of hearing loss, affecting approximately 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69.
Myth: My Hearing Loss cannot be Helped
Have you asked a hearing health provider about your hearing loss? Many forms of hearing loss can indeed be improved, whether it be by hearing aids, surgery, medication or a simple earwax removal procedure. You’ll never know if you never ask. If it’s been a few years since you’ve seen a hearing healthcare professional, consider making another appointment.
Audio Advantage Hearing Aid Center
If you’ve noticed that conversations are difficult to follow, or that your TV is turned up to the highest volume and you still cannot hear the audio, you may be experiencing a hearing loss. To know for sure, it is important to schedule a hearing test. At Audio Advantage Hearing Aid Center, we provide comprehensive hearing tests and hearing aid fittings. To schedule an appointment, contact our team today!