There are several hearing loss myths and in this article, we’re going to tackle 5 of those myths.
Myth: Living with a hearing loss isn’t a big deal
Fact: There are many negative side effects to untreated hearing loss. Hearing loss can strain communication with friends and family, which in turn can cause isolation, depression and a poor quality of life. Not only does hearing loss affect communication and relationships with friends and family, it can also have negative effects on your overall health. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to cognitive decline, higher risk of falls, reduced alertness and diminished psychological health.
Myth: Only “old people” need hearing aids
Fact: Hearing loss can be related to age, but can also be due to noise exposure, ototoxic medications, genetics, illness or accident. 2-3 of every 1,000 babies are born hard of hearing or deaf. 1 in 14 Generation Xers (age 29-40) have some degree of hearing loss. 60% of people with hearing loss are in the workforce or in educational settings. Hearing loss affects all age groups.
Myth: If I had hearing loss my doctor would have told me
Fact: According to the Better Hearing Institute, only 14% of physicians routinely screen hearing during an annual physical. It may also be difficult for your Doctor to fully grasp the extent of your hearing loss in an easy listening environment like an exam room. Let your Doctor know the hearing struggles you may be facing and they will refer you for further testing with an Audiologist.
Myth: Only people with serious hearing loss need to pursue treatment
Fact: Hearing loss and degrees of hearing loss affects everyone a little differently. Your lifestyle can also impact your willingness to pursue treatment. For example, if you cannot hear in your important business meeting or your grandkids in a noisy restaurant. Unfortunately, the side effects of untreated hearing loss have been found in all degrees of hearing loss whether mild or severe. You could be doing damage to your overall health if you have a hearing loss and don’t pursue treatment.
Myth: One ear is decreasing, but my other ear is fine so I’ll be ok
Fact: We have two ears for a reason. Binaural hearing helps us know where sounds are coming from and helps us understand speech in background noise. It is also uncommon for hearing to be different in each ear. What affects one ear will usually affect the other. This could mean you have two bad ears and one ear is just a little bit worse or something else could be going on to cause one ear to be significantly worse. Having both ears checked is the best way to go.