Hearing loss is the third most common physical problem in this country. The idea that everyone with hearing loss knows that they have hearing loss is just one in many myths that accompany this ailment. Since many people lose their hearing gradually, they may not realize the problem exists. Putting the misconceptions to rest improves hearing awareness and may tell you something about yourself or someone you love.
- Only Old People Lose Their Hearing
Not true, but an understandable misconception. Hearing loss is often associated with aging, but an estimated 30 children out of every 1,000 has some degree of loss and two or three of them will be deaf.
Conversely, about one-third of people in the U.S. that have hearing problems are over the age of 65. It is not true that only old people lose their hearing, but it is more common as you grow older.
- All Old People Lose Their Hearing
Again, it is common among the elderly, but not a natural process. Older people tend to lose their hearing because their ears have had a lifetime of abuse. Exposure to loud noises, ear infections, medications that are toxic to hearing, cotton swabs; it all adds up. Hearing loss may accelerate with age, because the individual components that make up the ear get older.
- Just Asking People to Talk Louder is Enough
There is some truth to that, but it depends on your definition of “enough.” Part of hearing loss has to do with sound amplification. Turning up the TV or asking people to talk louder may help you hear, but there are easier ways. A hearing aid will amplify the sound without you having to ask people to repeat themselves all the time.
- Hearing Loss Doesn’t Affect Your Health
New Studies say hearing loss increases your risk of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. One study found that with every 10 decibels of hearing loss, the risk increases by 20 percent.
- No One Has Told Me I Have Hearing Loss So I Must Be Okay
Hearing loss is often misconstrued as lack of focus or selective listening. It is better to get a hearing test and be sure.
- Going to Rock Concerts Causes Hearing Loss
Loud noises contribute to hearing loss, so a rock concert does qualify. It is not the only problem, though.
- Certain medications
- Repeated infections
- Poor ear hygiene
These factors also contribute to hearing loss.
- A Hearing Aid Will Make Me Look Old
And it might not even work that well. Modern hearing aids are very sophisticated and sleek. The effectiveness depends on the type hearing loss you have and the severity. A hearing aid will not fully restore your hearing, but you will hear better with one than without and that makes it worth having even if it is not a perfect solution.
If you or someone you love has hearing loss, get the facts straight. Get evaluated for a hearing aid and start enjoying the sounds around you again.