Common Myths About Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss Only Affects the Elderly and Is a Sign of Aging

We think of hearing loss as something that occurs in the elderly, but did you know that people over 64 only account for 35 percent of people with hearing loss? Did you know the number of people in the youthful 18-44 age bracket with hearing loss is estimated to be close to six million?

Hearing Loss Can’t Be Helped

A few decades ago, this would have been true for most people. But, with advances in technology, almost everyone with hearing loss can be helped. This is true of people whose hearing is reduced from exposure to noise, aging or nerve damage, as well as people whose hearing loss is only in one ear or can no longer hear high frequency sounds.

I Only Have One ‘Bad’ Ear

Technically, this is kind of true. Often, one ear may function better than the other. But, it’s all relative. If you have hearing loss in one ear, you have it in the other, and the ‘good’ one is only so by comparison. Ove time, you have favored that ear, giving the impression it is normal. Most kinds of hearing loss impact both ears pretty equally, and 90 percent of people who buy a hearing aid do so for both ears.

My Doctor Would Have Told Me if I Had a Hearing Problem

Just because your doctor has not broached the subject with you on your visits does not mean everything is good in the hearing department. During a routine physical, only 14 percent of doctors regularly screen for hearing loss. Given the quiet environment of the doctor’s office, your hearing isn’t as challenged, and barring a physician being specifically knowledgeable about hearing loss, he probably won’t notice the problem.

You Only Need a Hearing Aid if You Have Serious Hearing Loss

Many people do not think you need a hearing aid until you have practically gone deaf, but this is not the case for many people. There are many instances when someone who suffers from less severe forms of hearing loss may have a great need for a hearing aid. Certain occupations require a higher level of refined hearing because it is important to discern the nuances of communication, such as teachers, lawyers and group therapists. If you are a very social person, and like interacting with people, even mild hearing loss may greatly impact the quality of your interactions.

Hearing Aids Make Me Look Old and ‘Handicapped’

Hearing aids have come a long way in recent years, and many fit totally in the ear canal, making them practically invisible. Since hearing loss is associated with aging, the idea of needing one may make you feel ‘old.’ But, if you can learn to look at them in a different light, you will not feel this stigma. They are simply a tool to help a person hear better. More people probably notice your hearing loss than you realize, and not having any sort of aid will draw more attention to you than people seeing something lodged in your ear.