Though hearing loss is one of the most common health issues people live with today, there are numerous misconceptions about it. These myths often contribute to delayed treatment and total inaction when it comes to hearing loss. In fact, only a third of people who can benefit from treatment actually receive it. Untreated hearing loss can have significant effects on everyday life. Untreated symptoms can strain communication, relationships, social life, and increase health risks. Deconstructing common myths about hearing loss and learning more about it emphasizes the importance of intervening early and seeking treatment.
- Myth: hearing loss only impacts aging adults. One of the most common misconceptions about hearing loss is that it only impacts older adults. People often think that it’s a condition for grandparents and the elderly. But aging is actually only one cause of hearing loss. There are other causes including exposure to loud noise which impacts younger adults disproportionately. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 1 billion people, ages 12-35, are at high risk for developing noise induced hearing loss as a result of loud noise exposure.
Other causes of hearing loss that impact people of all ages include head inquiries and
existing medical conditions. A few more statistics that highlight how hearing loss
impacts other age groups include: two-thirds of those with hearing loss are younger
than age 64 and almost 15% of school-age children (ages 6-19) have some degree of
- Myth: hearing loss is not that common. Sometimes, people do not realize how pervasive hearing loss is. It is actually the third most common chronic medical condition people navigate. According to the National Institute on Deafness & Other Communication Disorders:
- 48 million people have hearing loss.
- An estimated 20% of adults in the United States experience some degree of hearing loss.
- Nearly 1 in 6 people have hearing loss.
- Half of all adults, ages 75 and older, have disabling hearing loss.
These statistics reveal how common hearing loss is. This medical condition is projected
to impact more and more people over the years, highlighting the importance of hearing
healthcare and treatment.
- Myth: if you can still hear, your hearing is fine. People often think that if you are able to still hear, then your hearing health is fine and not cause for concern. But it is useful to understand a few things about hearing loss. First, it exists on a spectrum from mild to profound. What starts as mild hearing loss, if left untreated, can worsen and can move from mild to moderate or mild to profound. Also, hearing can adjust quickly so though you may still be able to hear, your hearing can still be strained. You may not be hearing and/or understanding all words, struggling to hear in places with background noise, and your brian may be overextending in trying to hear and process speech and sound. These symptoms can be exacerbated if left untreated. Treatment addresses all degrees of hearing loss, even the slightest of impairment and symptoms. This prevents hearing loss from worsening, protecting the hearing that you do have.
- Myth: hearing loss is curable. Another misconception about hearing loss is that it can be cured. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss, accounting for 90% of the hearing loss that people experience. This type of impaired hearing occurs in the inner ear and is not curable. It most often occurs when sensory cells in the inner ear are damaged. These cells play a critical role in how sound is absorbed and processed so when they are damaged, the brain receives less auditory information. These cells cannot be replenished or repaired and the most common treatment is hearing aids.
- Myth: hearing aids are bulky and too noticeable. When you imagine hearing aids, you may be picturing devices that are way too chunky and noticeable. This can deter people from treatment because they want to avoid wearing this all too noticeable device. But today’s hearing aids are more innovative and advanced than ever before. There are numerous award winning hearing aids that offer sleek and aesthetically pleasing designs. Hearing aids have a range of features and innovative technologies that are designed to easily integrate into everyday life, supporting hearing needs in all environments.
Contact us today to learn more about hearing loss and hearing loss treatment. Treating your symptoms can transform your hearing health and wellness.