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Facts & Fictions about Hearing Loss

We all know someone who has hearing loss, and we think we know all the facts about hearing. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fictions about hearing loss that are presented as true. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about hearing loss, and the real facts of hearing loss.

Misconception #1: Hearing Loss Only Affects Seniors

One of the most common fictions about hearing loss is that hearing loss only affects seniors. Seniors do experience hearing loss. However, younger adults, teenagers, and even children can all have hearing loss! The fact is that hearing loss affects people of all ages, not just seniors.

Misconception #2: Hearing Loss Isn’t Very Common

Hearing loss is way more common than you might think. The fact is that about 15% of American adults have hearing loss! Not everyone with hearing loss will talk about their hearing loss, and many adults live with hearing loss for many years before seeking treatment. It may look like hearing loss isn’t very common, but that’s fiction.

Misconception #3: Hearing Loss Doesn’t Affect Your Health

This is one of the most dangerous fictions about hearing loss. Most adults with hearing loss assume that hearing loss is just an annoyance, but that it won’t affect their health. The fact is that living with untreated hearing loss has some major consequences. Hearing loss increases your risk of an accident or fall, and those with hearing loss are hospitalized more frequently than those with clear hearing.

Hearing loss can also lead to problems hearing conversations and communicating. People with hearing loss often feel socially isolated and alone, and have higher rates of stress, anxiety, and depression. Hearing loss also affects the brain, and people with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Misconception #4: It’s OK to Wait Years Before Treating Hearing Loss

If you have hearing loss, the best thing you can do for your health and well being, as well as your ears, is to treat your hearing loss as soon as possible. When you live with untreated hearing loss, the fact is that the longer you wait to treat your hearing loss, the harder it will be to treat. When the auditory centers in your brain aren’t receiving information about sound, the cells dedicated to hearing those sounds can disintegrate or die. When you treat your hearing loss, the brain won’t be able to interpret those sounds anymore.

When you treat your hearing loss as soon as you notice changes in your hearing, you will help your ears and brain hear better. You can enjoy clear hearing and you won’t lose your hearing range.

Misconception #5: Everyone Around You Is Mumbling

If you have hearing loss, it can seem as though everyone around you is mumbling. The fact is that the problem isn’t with your friends, it’s with your ears. When you have hearing loss you may have a difficult time distinguishing between consonant sounds, and hearing conversations clearly. This makes it seem like people are mumbling, but that’s fiction.

Misconception #6: Everyone Around You is Speaking Softly

People with hearing loss often complain that their friends are speaking too softly. You may think that if your friends spoke more loudly you would be able to hear. The fact is that hearing loss doesn’t just make sounds softer. Hearing loss affects the clarity of the sound and can make sounds distorted. This means that even if sounds get louder it won’t necessarily make it easier to follow conversations.

Hearing aids make sounds louder, but that’s not all. They work by reducing distracting background noise, helping you focus on speech sounds, and increasing the clarity of sounds.

Misconception #7: Hearing Loss Makes It Impossible to Talk on the Phone

If you have untreated hearing loss, it can be difficult to understand phone conversations. However, the fact is that hearing aids make it easy to talk on the phone. Hearing aids make speech easy to understand even if the person isn’t standing right in front of you. Many hearing aids have Bluetooth technology that allows you to stream audio from your phone directly to your hearing aids. You’ll be able to hear the phone conversation with both your ears, and enjoy all the speech enhancement features of the hearing aids.

These are a few of the facts and fictions about hearing loss. Contact us to learn more about hearing loss and how you can treat your hearing loss. 

Jon Suarez, MS, F/AAA
Jon Suarez, MS, F/AAA
Received his Masters in Audiology from Central Missouri State. He also holds a BS in Communication Disorders and Sciences, and a BA in Philosophy, both from SUNY Plattsburgh. Jon has been a licensed Audiologist since 2004, was certified as a Professional Supervisor for Audiometric Testing, and as an Occupational Hearing Conservationist. Aside from his work in our area, Jon is also associated with, and donates equipment to, All Ears International.
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