Hearing Loss: Spotting Facts from Fictions

Hearing Loss: Spotting Facts from Fictions

Dr. T

There are a lot of misconceptions around hearing loss. This is due to misinformation, or simply not enough emphasis on the importance of treating hearing loss. This may be in part attributed to insurance companies which have lobbied for decades to keep treatments for hearing loss classified as elective treatments in the campaign to reduce their bottom line. Today however, as research and studies become increasingly available to the general public, conceptions around hearing loss are slowly changing to recognize the serious nature of the condition. Still, there are many fallacies which still linger regarding hearing loss. So, would you know if a statement around hearing loss was fact or fiction? You may be surprised! Here are some statements around hearing loss. See if you can guess which ones are real!

Hearing loss can occur at any age.

Fact:  The most common cause of hearing loss is age related. It affects one in three people 65 and older as well as half of those 75 years old and beyond. Technically known as presbycusis, it occurs due to changes in the ear as we age. Still, presbycusis isn’t a guaranteed part of aging until we are nearing 100 years old. There are other factors which increase the likelihood of hearing loss at any age of our lives. This can include exposure to loud sounds, impact to our head, the use of certain medications, exposure to ototoxic chemicals or even chronic ear infections. It is important to know the risks of hearing loss early in life so you can take steps now to prevent presbycusis later on.

Hearing aids are elective

Fiction: Many people make the mistake of thinking just because they can hear a little bit that they don’t need to treat a hearing loss. In truth, this only makes things worse. Untreated hearing loss has been attributed to rifts in even your closest relationships, notable loss of earnings at work, chronic mental health condition, cognitive decline increasing the risk of dementia and a heightened risk of falls leading to hospitalizations. On the other hand, studies have found that the sooner you address a hearing loss with hearing aids, the better your chances are of connecting to the people you love again, leveling the professional field to an equal level, improving mental and cognitive health and staying more mobile!

Modern hearing aids have improved from those of the past

Fact: Many people think of the giant flesh tone hearing aids that their parents or grandparents used to wear. They were not only unsightly but amplified sound with a tinny quality and were prone to feedback. Hearing aids of today have come quite a long way. Relying on digital amplification to reduce the likeliness of feedback, modern hearing aids are not only smaller, sleeker and more stylish, but offer superior sound quality to help you succeed in any social interactions. More user friendly than ever, today’s hearing aids offer choices to fit your modern lifestyle, from directional microphones to help you hear better in crowded rooms, background noise suppression, tinnitus masking, Bluetooth connectivity and so much more. 

It is other people who need to speak up, not a hearing issue.

Fiction: People often live in denial for years around a hearing loss. This is likely because it often develops gradually over many years. This can allow people to rationalize and become accustomed to the subtle loss in sound. They may blame others for mumbling or not speaking clearly enough when there is actually a tonal deficit with your hearing. It is not until instances where people speak about a sound you just can’t hear that you may come to suspect you have an issue with your hearing. Still, people tend to wait on average seven to ten years from the time they suspect a hearing loss is present to act and seek treatment. During these years, many of the dangerous side effects of hearing loss such as cognitive decline or broken relationships progress to levels which take a lot of work to reverse. In many instances they may even be irreversible! 

Hearing aids are too inconvenient and expensive for me. 

Fiction: People often put off treatment for hearing loss because they fear the financial and emotional commitment of wearing hearing aids. In truth, most people report a 91 percent satisfaction rate with hearing aids after one year of use. This is because they increase your ability to reconnect to the people and the things in life you love to do. We have financing options to take the stress out of investing in new hearing aids. 

So—could you spot the facts from the fictions?! To find out more, contact us today!