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Five Popular Myths about Hearing Loss

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Woman with Hearing Loss

Most of us have limited knowledge about hearing loss, apart from what we hear about it from others or read up on the internet. We think that since we are not affected by hearing loss, whatever amount of information we have is good enough. Thus, like many others, we, along with a few facts, believe in several myths about hearing loss.

Here are the top five myths about hearing loss that majority of the people believe.

1. Only Old People Suffer From Hearing Loss So It Is Because Of Aging

Contrary to the general misconception about aging being the only factor leading to hearing loss, hearing impairment can occur at any age. Of 360 million people suffering from hearing loss, 32 million are children.

Almost half of the children who have hearing loss have it due to genetic defects. Others may suffer from hearing loss due to illness, injury or the use of ototoxic medications as well. Likewise, teenagers nowadays have a high risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss due to long and repeated exposure to loud noises in the form of music. Surprisingly, about 1.1 billion teenagers and adults are at the risk of inducing hearing loss due to their active participation in activities, which involve loud noises, such as concerts and sporting events.

2. Hearing Aids Can Fix Hearing and Bring It Back To Normal

Unlike correctional glasses which can correct vision to 20/20, hearing aids do not correct and bring back hearing to the normal levels. Since hearing loss occurs due to sensorineural or conductive reasons, which means that it is caused by either the problems with the structure of the ear or the nerves, hearing aids can only help the person communicate better.

Thus, hearing aids can improve hearing albeit not ‘fix’ it completely. They can help people listen and understand sounds better.

3. If I Have Hearing Loss I Would Know About It

Most of the time, people who are suffering from hearing loss get themselves tested or diagnosed pretty late. This is due to the common belief that a person would know immediately if he or she is suffering from hearing loss. It is true in some cases whereby the onset of hearing loss is sudden, probably due to an injury or exposure to loud noise, but in a majority of the cases hearing loss occurs gradually. People do not feel that their hearing ability is being undermined. This is due to the body’s ability to be adaptive in nature. The body, instead of alerting the brain about a decline of hearing, adjusts to hearing less. This is why self-diagnosis is not easy and people usually start realizing that they suffer from a loss of hearing really late.

4. Only One Ear Is Affected While the Other Is Fine

The hearing is similar to vision; when both our eyes have defected vision, we tend to think that the eye which shows a better picture is a good eye. Similar is the case with the ears. In up to 90% of the cases, hearing loss occurs in both the ears. At times, one ear hears relatively much better than the other and that’s why it becomes the dominant one. We favor that ear for conversing over the telephone, having conversations, or watching television thinking that it is the good ear. However, hearing tests reveal that the ‘good’ ear too suffers from hearing loss albeit milder.

5. Hearing Aids Are Unattractive

Surprisingly, many of the people suffering from hearing loss are reluctant to wear hearing aids. Most of us have a typical design in our minds when it comes to hearing aids and believe it is a bulging ear piece visible even from a distance. On the contrary, there has been much innovation in hearing aid designs. There are several, cost-effective hearing aids that are conspicuous and attractive at the same time.

Talk with your audiologist about any hearing issues you may be experiencing and get the treatment you deserve. Information is knowledge, and knowledge allows you to take control of your hearing health.