As we age, we often start to experience hearing loss. This can be challenging to cope with, as it often leads to feelings of isolation and anxiety. This is sometimes associated with the misinformation surrounding the hearing loss process. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about hearing loss that people tend to believe.
In this post, we'll debunk five of the most common myths. We'll aim to break the cycle of misinformation surrounding this topic. Let's dig in, shall we?
1. You only need a hearing aid if you can't hear at all
Fact: You don't have to be deaf to experience hearing loss. According to the Hearing Health Foundation, approximately 36 million Americans have some form of hearing loss. Of those, only about 20% actually use a hearing aid.
Hearing loss can be gradual and progressive, which means you may not even realize you have a problem. That's why it's important to ensure that your hearing is checked regularly, even if you don't think you're having any issues.
If you're experiencing difficulty hearing conversations in noisy environments, or if you find yourself cranking up the volume more than usual, it's time to see an audiologist.
2. Hearing aids are only for old people
Fact: Hearing loss can happen to anyone and at any age. It is not limited to seniors only. In fact, one in five Americans who are 12 years or older has reported some level of hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
You may think that hearing aids are only for old people, but that's not the case. There are several causes associated with hearing loss. These include age, noise exposure, genetics, and certain medical conditions. And while most hearing loss can't be reversed, it can be treated with hearing aids.
So, don't wait until you're "old" to start thinking about your hearing health. If you're noticing changes in your hearing, it's time to talk to your doctor.
3. Hearing aids make everything sound too loud
Fact: Properly fitted hearing aids should help you hear more clearly, but not be too loud to wear. A lot of people believe that hearing aids make all sounds too loud, but this isn't actually the case. Hearing aids have a limiting capability for loud sounds. The audiologist will measure the level where you become uncomfortable and adjust the hearing aid’s maximum power output, so that it does not exceed your uncomfortable loudness levels.
Hearing aids also come in different power levels, so what’s right for one person is not right for everyone. That's why it's important to have an audiologist help you find the most appropriate hearing aids for your specific needs. This ensures that you get a hearing aid that is best suited for your level of hearing loss.
4. Hearing loss doesn't affect your overall health
Fact: Hearing loss does affect your overall health. Studies show that individuals with hearing loss experience higher levels of anxiety, fatigue, stress, and even depression. When you have hearing loss, it can be difficult to communicate with others, which can lead to strained relationships and social isolation. Fatigue is a result of concentrating and working too hard to catch what others are saying!
Hearing loss is even connected to other medical conditions. For example, people with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease, are at higher risk of developing hearing loss. Changes in hearing can indicate changes in other body systems as well. Having your hearing tested annually should be part of your routine medical care.
5. I don't need a hearing aid; I just need to get my ears cleaned
Fact: Earwax can cause a hearing loss but only if your ear canal is completely clogged with wax. If your ears aren’t completely blocked with wax, then cleaning them won’t make a hearing loss go away. In fact, earwax is good for your ears and helps protect them from infection. Earwax also helps keep your ears healthy by trapping dirt and dust before entering your ear canal. It's only when there's too much wax build-up that problems occur.
We know that people want an easy solution. The fact is we just don’t see excessive buildup of earwax as a common cause of hearing loss in our patients. If you're experiencing hearing loss, it's best to consult with a professional to find out what’s causing it.
Hearing loss can be a touchy subject for a lot of people. It seems like people are often unsure of how to talk about it and what to do if they think they or someone they know may be experiencing it. This lack of knowledge leads to a lot of myths and misunderstandings about hearing loss. Here, we busted five of the most common myths about hearing loss. Hopefully, this will help clear up some confusion and help people better understand this common condition.
If you are struggling to hear clearly, Comprehensive Hearing Solutions can help. We offer a range of services to help you improve your hearing, including hearing tests, hearing aid fittings, and hearing rehabilitation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.