Facts & Fictions About Hearing Loss

Though hearing loss is the third most common health condition people experience today, it is still widely unknown. There are numerous misconceptions about hearing loss that often cause people to delay seeking treatment. Deconstructing these misconceptions can increase your awareness about hearing loss and emphasizes the importance of hearing health. 

Fiction: Hearing Loss Only Impacts Older Adults. 

Fact: there are multiple causes of hearing loss that can affect people of all ages. 

One of the most common misconceptions about hearing loss is that it is caused by aging so it only impacts older adults. While older adults are disproportionately impacted by hearing loss, people of all ages can also experience impaired hearing. Another common cause of hearing loss is loud noise. One-time or consistent exposure to loud noise can permanently damage the hair cells in the inner ear, producing a noise-induced hearing loss. Because listening to the audio on electronic devices has become common in this digital age, young adults are actually at an increased risk of developing hearing loss. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 1 billion people, ages 12-35, are at high risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss due to increased noise exposure. Additionally, it is estimated that 15% of school-age children and teens (ages 6-19) have some degree of hearing loss. These statistics highlight that hearing loss impacts more demographics than older adults. 

Fiction: I Can Still Hear So My Hearing Loss Is Not That Bad. 

Fact: Strained hearing is a common symptom of hearing loss and if left untreated, it can worsen impairment. 

One reason people often delay treatment is that they can still hear, albeit not as well, but they still may think that their hearing health is largely intact. But it is important to understand that hearing loss exists on a spectrum – mild to profound. Being able to hear, but not like you used to, is an early sign of hearing loss. And if this remains untreated, impairment can worsen, moving from being mild to profound. Also, because you can still hear does not mean that your hearing health is fine. Your ears and brain are likely exerting more energy in trying to hear which can have consequences that increase health risks. So it is important to intervene early and seek treatment for the symptoms you are experiencing. 

Fiction: People can just speak louder so I can hear better. 

Fact: Increasing volume can worsen the sound quality and hearing loss. 

Another common misconception about hearing loss is that people can just speak louder. But increasing volume can further distort and muffle noise, making it harder to hear. This also is not a sustainable strategy to effectively manage hearing challenges. Hearing loss is a chronic medical condition that requires adequate treatment.  

Fiction: Hearing Loss Is Not That Serious So I Can Seek Treatment Later. 

Fact: hearing loss can take a toll on relationships, social life, health, and wellness. 

People often think that hearing loss only impacts hearing. But it reduces the capacity to hear and process sound which produces symptoms that affect all areas of life. These symptoms strain communication – an essential way we navigate daily life. Strained communication impacts relationships, social life, work performance, and overall health. Untreated hearing loss often results in social withdrawal and issues in relationships because conversations become challenging to participate in. 

Additionally, untreated hearing loss increases health risks. Extensive research shows that hearing loss that remains untreated can contribute to various health issues including cognitive decline, accidental injuries, and depression. This not only impacts one’s health but also well-being and capacity to navigate daily life independently. 

Fiction: Hearing Aids Are Outdated Devices That Are Too Bulky. 

Fact: today’s hearing aids are sleeker and more innovative than ever before. 

When you imagine hearing aids, you likely picture bulky and outdated devices that are unappealing. But hearing aids, similar to most electronic devices today, have experienced significant innovations. These devices are savvier, sleeker, and more capable than ever before. There is a wide range of options, styles, features, and technologies that easily integrate the device into daily life. In addition to coming in different colors and sizes, there are hearing aids options that are really small and nearly invisible to others. 

Contact us today to learn more about how you can address hearing loss and ways you can protect your hearing health. 

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