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In the last ten years, awareness of our hearing wellbeing has come a long way, but there are still many misunderstandings surrounding hearing loss. Do you still think that only the elderly suffer from hearing loss? Or believe your doctor would notice whether you have a physical routine problem with your hearing? If you still believe these things, then it’s time to dispel some myths.
Here, we dismantle some of the common myths when it comes to hearing loss.
Fiction: Hearing loss is only a concern for older adults.
When exposed to excessively loud noise levels, no matter what age you’d be, irreversible hearing loss will occur. While several consistently noisy occupations are regulated by federal law, daily life provides ample opportunities to damage your hearing. This could include public transport or even the appliances in your home.
Although our audition is more easily damaged as we age, a large proportion of hearing loss due to age occurs as a result of gradual damage in our lives. This is cumulative and will build up throughout one’s life.
Fiction: I don’t work in a noisy place, so my risk is low.
Here’s what you need to remember: you always have a sense of hearing. Think about it: even when all the other reasons have been disengaged, you wake up to your alarm clock. This means that you will also be exposed to whatever sounds are around you.
Hearing risks are also mutating. Previously the largest source of noise-induced hearing loss was to be found in the workplace. With the success of hearing protection programs and federal laws, noise risks are now mainly to be found in the leisure sphere. Are you a music lover, recreational shooter, or just like to listen to music on your headphones? You might be endangering your hearing and not even realize it.
Fiction: If I had hearing loss, wouldn’t my doctor tell me?
Did your doctor administer a hearing test on you the last time you went for your physical? The likelihood is not, because few physicians do so. Your doctor will often rely on you to identify any health problems that they can research and treat.
You wouldn’t expect your doctor to detect cavities in your teeth in a physical routine, so it stands that they wouldn’t detect any hearing changes in you unless very evident. And it is unlikely to be visible, given the quiet, one-on-one conditions in which you usually visit your physician.
Hearing health professionals are specially trained in conducting hearing tests, evaluating hearing loss, and prescribing treatment. It’s best to see one and make an appointment if you’ve noticed changes in your hearing.
Fiction: If I had hearing loss, I would know about it.
Self-diagnosis is practically impossible when it comes to the earliest signs of hearing loss. This is because hearing loss happens quite differently from what one would expect.
Instead of reducing volume all-around, hearing loss starts as a sound distortion. Some sounds come out loud and clear, just like they have ever been. Yet, slowly, it will become more and more difficult to understand speech— it may seem as if everyone suddenly began to mumble. This is because people tend to lose specific frequencies that are used in speech sounds.
Fiction: Hearing aids are only if your hearing loss is severe.
When you suffer from hearing loss symptoms and leave them untreated, your condition can worsen, causing permanent damage. If the normal hearing cycle is disrupted, the brain has to relearn the sound.
Diagnosing your hearing loss early and treating it with hearing aids is the most efficient way to help your mind continue to register and interpret sounds naturally.
Hearing aids increase your ability to hear sounds but do not return impaired hearing to its normal state. But the wearer is more likely to have a great experience with the correct guidance, proper fitting, and fine-tuning. Its efficacy often depends on the degree of hearing impairment the individual has. The more hearing loss is treated, the worse the permanent damage is, so it is up to you to get checked and get yourself treated before too much damage is done.