7 Hearing Loss Myths—Busted

Hearing Loss Risk Factors
Many of us have a tendency to ignore or deny a problem exists with our health. Heath issues can be hard to admit to ourselves – and scary. Hearing loss is especially easy to deny as it often happens over time and we may not notice it at first.
 
The risk of having some form of hearing loss are high, and being younger does not grant us immunity. Believing some of the most common myths about hearing can harm our health in more ways than one. Hearing loss only gets worse with time. Knowing the truth will help identify a problem and get help now, when it matters the most.

Myth: You cannot prevent hearing loss and is inevitable with age.

Facts: You cannot prevent all hearing loss. You can prevent most of it with lifestyle changes.

  • Cumulative noise exposure is one of the leading causes of permanent hearing loss. NIDCD says that approximately 15% of Americans between 20 and 69 have hearing loss. This is due to noise exposure at work or during leisure activities. 24 percent of hearing loss happens from workplace exposure.
  • Avoiding loud noises and wearing proper protection when exposure is unavoidable. This can prevent hearing damage.
  • Smoking, diabetes and heart disease also cause hearing loss. Lifestyle changes, such as diet changes, can help prevent this type of hearing loss.

Myth: Only older adults have by hearing loss.

Facts: Hearing loss affects people of all ages from birth through older adulthood.

  • An estimated 48 million people in the U.S. have hearing loss and two-thirds of them are under 65 years of age.
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 50 million people in the U.S.
  • Hearing loss from noise affects people of any age and is cumulative and permanent.

 

Myth: Babies and young children don’t need to have their hearing tested.

Facts: All infants and children should have regular hearing check-ups. They are never too young to start having these done.
  • All babies should have their hearing checked. About 5 in every 1000 newborns have hearing loss.
  • Approximately 3 million children in the U.S. have some form of hearing loss. About 1.3 million of those children are under age 3.
  • Over 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents. Early detection and intervention are key. With this, deaf children develop can communicate at the same rate as hearing children.

 

Myth: I hear well enough. I’d know if I had hearing loss. I don’t need hearing aids.

Facts: Hearing loss is usually very gradual and easy to miss. Usually other people in our lives notice our hearing loss before we do. Are you asking family and friends to repeat themselves? Are you having trouble hearing at work? Are you asked to turn down the volume on the television or your music?
  • Approximately 15 million people in the U.S. avoid seeking help for their hearing loss. Hearing aids can offer dramatic improvement.
  • Because hearing loss worsens over time, hearing aids can only help if you have any hearing left. You could be damaging your treatment success by waiting.
  • Putting off treatment will make it harder to adjust to hearing aids in the future.

 

Myth: Hearing aids are like contacts or glasses and will correct my hearing loss.

Facts: Contacts and glasses correct vision to 20/20. Hearing aids do not work the same way. The brain requires time to adjust to sound coming through a hearing aid instead of the ear.
  • Hearing aids will not restore hearing back to 100 percent.
  • Unlike glasses that do not need training to use, hearing aids may need auditory training. This helps the brain process sounds.
  • Hearing aids usually need repeat trips to the audiologist to program them. Hearing aids are unique to the patient.

 

Myth: Hearing loss is harmless to my health.

Facts: Hearing loss is linked with cognitive decline, which has a domino effect on our health.

  • Dementia, isolation, work performance, falls, depression, dizziness, and more come with hearing loss.
  • Hearing aids can prevent or reverse some health conditions caused by hearing loss.
  • The earlier the hearing loss treatment, the better success rate for hearing improvement. This leads to better improvement with associated conditions.

 

Myth: There’s only one type of hearing loss and it affects both ears the same.

Facts: There are three main types of hearing loss. These are sensorineural, conductive, and mixed. There is a fourth rare type (auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder). Hearing loss affects each ear in a different way.
  • The type of hearing loss you may have depends on what part or parts of your ear have damage. Your left and right ears are responsible for different tasks. The amount of hearing loss will be different in each ear. Kind of like you may have a different prescription for each eye in your vision correction.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common form. It is permanent due to unrepairable damage to the ear. There are many causes. Hearing aids are the usual treatment.
  • Each person’s hearing loss is unique and made up of many factors. These include lifestyle, age, diseases, genetics, work, noise exposure, and much more.

Sidney Sound and Hearing Services provides a hearing test for you. We also provide information on hearing loss, hearing aids, and much more.