Despite the fact that hearing loss is a common condition that will eventually affect almost all of us, there is a stigma regarding this condition. While this condition is sometimes considered to be the “invisible disability,” because it is not always obvious, many don’t talk about hearing loss enough. While sometimes the reason is cost or lack of health insurance, many wait years to do something about it. However, if the reasoning is due to social stigma it is likely to be the result of the common misconceptions about hearing loss many people (unfortunately) believe.
To help change the perspective of others, we’ve gathered some of the top misconceptions about hearing loss to put them to rest. Read on to learn the truth behind some of the common myths about hearing loss.
Myth : Hearing loss is a condition only for old people.
Fact : While the risk of hearing loss does accelerate with age, the truth is 40% out of 48 million Americans under the age of 60 suffer from some degree of impaired hearing. The truth is, hearing loss does not discriminate and can affect anyone, at any age.
Myth : I only notice a difference in one ear, but my other ear is fine, so I am OK.
Fact : Your brain is amazing, so much so it can adapt to changes. However, when you have impaired hearing in one ear, your body will compensate for it. While this is helpful, allowing this to continue without intervention is not a good idea for the long term.
Myth : It’s OK to wait to get hearing aids because I can still hear some sound.
Fact : If you have a hearing impairment, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to treat. Plus, the longer you wait, the less likely hearing aids will be able to help because your brain has stopped recognizing sound. The best practice to follow to prevent this from occurring is to see an audiologist regularly for checkups.
Myth : Hearing aids can restore hearing back to normal levels
Fact : While today’s technology is advanced, hearing aids are not designed to restore your hearing back to normal. Unfortunately, there is no man-made device that can truly replicate the human’s ability to hear. Your best bet is to nip the problem in the bud before it becomes harder to treat.
Myth : While hearing loss is annoying, it does not affect my health
Fact : This couldn’t be any further from the truth. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone, is an excellent way to look at your ability to hear. Many people who suffer from a hearing impairment are more likely to fall, become isolated, suffer from depression, anxiety, and it may even increase your risk of developing dementia.