Hearing loss is becoming a growing problem, and it doesn’t affect seniors only. In fact, with the rise of portable music players, many teens are cranking up the volume, putting their hearing at risk.
An estimated 15 percent of adults report some trouble hearing, and men are more likely to endure hearing problems than women. One in eight Americans have hearing loss in both ears, and two percent of Americans aged 45 to 54 live with debilitating hearing loss, which increases with age. As you can see, hearing loss is a pressing issue that affects just about everyone.
There is a lot of information on hearing loss, but unfortunately not much of it is true. Here is what you need to know when it comes to hearing loss.
Common hearing loss myths debunked
Hearing loss in an inevitable part of aging: False. Although many changes occur through aging, hearing loss isn’t necessarily one of them. What is true, though, is the longer you wait to treat your hearing problem the worse it can become.
You should wait until your hearing gets really bad to see a specialist: False. As mentioned, the longer you wait to correct your hearing the worse it will become. By addressing your hearing problem early on your brain can begin to reprogram itself, improving your auditory system.
Speaking louder helps people with hearing loss understand you: False. Speaking loudly doesn’t mean a person with hearing loss will understand you better. Instead, speak in a normal tone, clearly, while looking directly at the person.
Your doctor will tell you if your hearing is bad: False. A study has shown only 17 to 30 percent of family physicians perform cursory hearing tests and none performs full hearing tests. If you have concerns about your hearing, ask to be referred to a specialist.
People with hearing loss can read lips: Partially true. Some individuals are able to read lips, but this is not the general rule for everyone. In either case, ensure the person you are speaking to can see your lips.
Hearing aids don’t work: False. Maybe you knew someone whose hearing aids just weren’t for them. There are many reasons as to why a person may believe hearing aids don’t work, but those with moderate to severe hearing loss can experience great relief from using hearing aids.
Hearing loss is common in seniors: False. As mentioned, hearing loss is actually becoming a growing problem in all age groups – younger ones included. In fact, 65 percent of those who wear hearing aids are under the age of 65, and 60 percent of them are still in school or workforce.
Believing these common hearing loss myths could be jeopardizing your hearing. Know the facts when it comes to hearing loss, and have yourself checked to see where you and your ears stand.