7 Myths about Hearing Loss

When a new patient comes into one of our offices, they usually have a fixed idea of what it is like to wear a hearing aid and, quite often, they are simply not ready to take the next step to hearing better. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, only one out of five people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one. While hearing technology has evolved significantly over the last ten years, perceptions about hearing loss have remained stuck in the past. Below are some common misconceptions that still exist about hearing loss.

Hearing loss is rare.

The World Health Organization estimates that hearing loss affects 360 million people worldwide – that´s over 5% of the world´s population. About 20% of Americans report some degree of hearing loss.

Increasing the sound volume with help.

We know all too well that people with hearing loss have a tendency to crank up the volume on the TV, for example, but did you know that if you increase the volume too much, it distorts the quality of the sound? The same applies when talking to someone with hearing loss. Avoid yelling or over-articulating because it also makes it more difficult for them to lip read.

Assistive listening devices and hearing aids restore hearing to normal.

Modern day medicine is currently unable to restore a person’s lost hearing. Think about that. That is how serious of a problem hearing loss is. Once the nerve fibers within the ear are destroyed, they cannot be reconnected. Hearing loss is irreversible. As such, a person does not obtain “normal” hearing by wearing a hearing aid or cochlear implant. It is not the same as wearing glasses, which can provide the user with perfect vision.

Hearing loss is a sign of aging.

Only 30% of the 48 million Americans with hearing loss are 65 or older. Recent surveys show that 20% of high school students have noise-induced hearing loss.

Hearing aids are not cool.

Amazingly, there is a still a certain stigma associated with wearing a hearing aid, even with today’s state-of-the-art hearing technology. While wearing glasses can be a fashion statement, wearing a hearing aid has struggled to catch up with the times. People with hearing loss still resist wearing hearing aids because they perceive them to be indicative of aging and/or a disability. With some truly smart and discreet hearing aids on the market, there is really no reason for anyone to even know that you are wearing a hearing aid.

There’s nothing you can do about Tinnitus.

There is no cure for Tinnitus, but there is treatment. Hearing care professionals can help you evaluate the severity of your Tinnitus and devise a custom treatment plan that may include hearing aids, ear wax removal, relaxation exercises and other Tinnitus relieving therapies.

Everyone with a hearing loss uses sign language.

While sign language is a very important form of communication for the deaf and severely hard of hearing, there are a lot of people walking around with some form of hearing loss and the average person does not know or use sign language.