If you suffer from hearing loss you have two choices: take control and address the problem or ignore the issue and accept the consequences. Often, avoiding the problem will only lead to a slow withdrawal from your friends, family and the rest of society, as keeping up with conversations becomes increasingly difficult.
You may have any number of personal reasons not to take action, but don’t let ignorance be one of them. Don’t let false impressions color your judgment. It is better by far to understand the facts surrounding your hearing loss then make a judgment call.
Though advancements in hearing health and technology have come a long way, many misconceptions about hearing loss still exist. Lack of awareness and misguided perceptions contribute to the perpetuation of these myths. Deciphering the difference between facts and fiction is key to getting the help you need to diagnose and treat your hearing loss. Below are some common misconceptions about hearing loss and treatment with actual facts below.
Fiction: Hearing loss doesn’t affect very many people
The truth is that hearing loss, as a natural part of life and aging, impacts far more people than you may realize. Research tells us that about 20% of Americans, or 48 million people, experience some degree of hearing loss. Over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – has disabling hearing loss (432 million adults and 34 million children). It is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people – or one in every ten people – will have disabling hearing loss.
Fiction: Only older people experience hearing loss
If are in denial because you don’t want to be labeled as elderly, be aware hearing loss can happen at any age. People of all ages can suffer from hearing loss. For example, newborn babies have congenital deafness, musicians are exposed to loud music, people on certain medications or with health issues develop hearing loss. Hearing loss is anything but rare.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Diseases (NIDCD) estimates that 26 million Americans suffer from hearing loss because of exposure to noise at work. The same number of U.S. citizens have experienced tinnitus or ringing in the ears. You are not alone in having a hearing problem.
In fact, 40% of Americans with hearing loss are under the age of 60. Perhaps this misconception persists because it is true that the likelihood of hearing loss often accelerates with age.
Fact: Not all people with hearing loss use hearing aids – but they could benefit from them!
According to recent research, only 1/5 of those who could benefit from hearing aids decide to use them. Even if a person with hearing loss opts for hearing aids, chances are they chose to use other modes of communication for several years before seeking this option. While hearing aids are one of the most effective options for most people with hearing loss, they may not be the right choice for everyone. Some degrees of hearing loss may require other treatment options. To determine whether hearing aids will work for you, it is important to visit us at Focus Hearing for a hearing test.
Fact: Telephone conversations are difficult with hearing loss
With untreated hearing loss, telephone conversations – and real-life conversations – can be challenging. The emergence of caption technology has dramatically improved telephone communication for people with hearing loss. CapTel captioned telephones work just like any other phone, but also provide easy-to-read captions of everything the caller says. This clear, two-way communication allows people with hearing loss to stay connected over the phone to those they care about the most. With newer models of hearing aids, it is possible to stream conversations from your phone directly to your hearing devices, making conversations much easier!
Fiction: Sign language is the best way to communicate with a person with hearing loss
Not everyone who experiences hearing loss uses or understands sign language. In fact, many people who experience hearing loss gradually over time may not even recognize they have a communication problem. People with hearing loss often rely on a variety of strategies to help communicate, such as lip reading, assistive listening devices, and reading facial expressions.
Fiction: Hearing aids are hard to use
Today’s hearing aids have come a long way from the hearing aids of just a few years ago. Advancements in processing speeds and hearing science enable hearing aids to distinguish speech from noise, detect sound direction, and adjust to environments and specific sounds — all automatically. If fit and programmed by a hearing professional to your unique hearing needs, your hearing aids can be worn all day with little fuss, attention or adjustments required.
Fact: Focus Hearing is here to help!
If you’ve experienced difficulties with communication and suspect you may have a hearing loss, contact our friendly team at Focus Hearing today. We provide comprehensive hearing tests and if a hearing loss is detected, we will work with you to find the best treatment solution to meet your needs.