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. Here are some of the most prevalent myths that get passed around.
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 way. Hearing loss comes in many forms and can be caused by any number of things. 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 Can Have One "Good" Ear
While it is possible to experience hearing loss in one ear when the other is perfectly functional, most hearing loss affects both ears. About 90 percent of people who need hearing aids need the devices in both ears.
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 they can wake up one day and be hard of hearing and be acutely aware it's occurred. The truth is that hearing loss usually happens so gradually that most people aren't aware that they have a problem.
Hearing loss is difficult to self-diagnose, and doctors often need to administer a detailed hearing test before they can whether a patient has hearing loss and is in need of a hearing aid.
Myth: Hearing Aids Restore Hearing
Many people assume that a hearing aid will allow them to hear perfectly, much like how a pair of glasses can restore someone to 20/20 vision. While hearing aids do amplify sound and make it easier for a person to hear, it doesn't help the wearer to completely restore their hearing. Hearing aids can bring back people into the world of hearing clarity and be better able to understand sounds.
Hearing aids do many things. They can help you hear more clearly, focus on sounds in noisy places, alleviate tinnitus, and help those with hearing loss get more enjoyment from life but they are not restorative to hearing.
If a person's hearing is damaged in a way that prevents them from focusing on sound, a hearing aid that amplifies all noise isn't that effective. That's why hearing protection is so important, especially if you work in a noisy environment or have leisure activities that involve high sound decibels.
Myth: Hearing Aids Look Unsightly
Traditionally hearing aids have been known for their bulky, clunking appearance, standing out like a store thumb. Modern hearing aids have sleek 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. Behind the ear styles can be disguised or hidden by hairstyles.
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. Aural training and education are also a great complement to hearing aids for your overall wellness and hearing health.
Myth: Hearing Loss is Just Part of Old Age
Hearing loss was once associated with the elderly, but times are changing. Many things associated with younger people such as wearing earbuds while listening to loud music and attending almost painfully-loud rock concerts damage a person's hearing no matter how old they are.
Hearing loss is currently more prevalent in adults between the ages of 45 and 64 than it is in adults over the age of 65. A 45 year-old may not exactly be young, but they are far from being a senior citizen.
For more myths and facts about hearing loss, go to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's website.