There are a lot of misconceptions around hearing loss. Often underestimated, we now know that hearing loss is connected to social isolation, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, dementia, and a greater risk of falls. Still misinterpretation about the lack of severity of these side effects leaves insurance companies rarely covering the cost of treatment, let alone hearing exams. If people understood the truth about hearing loss apart from the myths there would be better treatments, accommodations and understanding for the millions of people effected. Here are few common fictions about hearing loss and the facts to dispel them.
Fiction: Hearing loss only affects older people
Fact: Hearing loss is common as we age. One in three people over 65 have hearing loss and this number rises to one in two after the age of 75. Often thought of as a condition which only effects seniors it can actually affect people of all ages. There are several causes of permanent hearing loss including exposure to loud noise, impact to the head, abnormal growths of the inner ear, ototoxic chemicals, heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Many of these causes of hearing loss can occur at any age.
Fiction: I can get along just fine without hearing aids.
Fact: It’s all too common for people to go without treating their hearing loss. Denial and procrastination often contribute to putting off hearing aids on average for 7 to 10 years. Even a slight hearing loss is known to cause cognitive decline. It can also double the risk of developing dementia. When we struggle to hear, parts of words go missing and the brain must struggle to fill in the blanks. This is not only exhausting and frustrating but taxing on cognitive load. Over time parts of the brain which can’t receive sound can cause cell death and brain shrinkage. It’s important to have your hearing test regularly and take a hearing diagnosis seriously, seeking treatment right away.
Fiction: Hearing aids are cumbersome and prone to feedback.
Fact: If you remember the hearing aids that your parents or grandparents wore then you may think of hearing aids as clunky, conspicuous flesh tone devices which would screech whenever they came across a high-pitched sound. Today’s hearing aids have made leaps in bounds in the miniaturization of digital technology. They can come in a wide range of styles and sizes- some so small they are barely noticeable by most. They are programed based on your hearing exam to amplify only the sounds you need while allowing the rest to be heard with your normal existing hearing. This creates a sensation of nearly natural hearing. Not only is sound more nuanced and clearer than ever before but todays hearing aids offer a wide range of features such as Bluetooth technology so you can wirelessly connect to your smartphone, stereo or TV, background noise suppression, advanced water resistance, enhanced speech clarity in crowds and tinnitus masking features. These new features make it possible to help improve the quality of your life with better audio quality than ever before.
Fiction: Hearing aids are too inconvenient and expensive for me.
It takes time to get used to hearing aids, as your brain adjusts to hearing sounds it may not have been able to detect for a decade or more. Once you get used to life with hearing aids – on average in about two weeks, you should feel more confident connecting with the people in your life at home, or at work.
In fact, many find that with the use of hearing aids their careers are much better supported. It’s too common that untreated hearing loss affects earnings in the workplace. Miscommunications, misunderstandings due to build up and those with hearing aids are often passed up for promotions and raises. However, with hearing aids these issues are much less of an issue. Stay clear and connected with hearing aids to help support your career. In the long run, an investment in hearing aids is an investment in your ability to earn more at work.
To find out more facts about what hearing aids can do for you, do not hesitate to contact us today. We can test your hearing and help find the best solution for you.