Despite recent efforts in the hearing health care industry, there are many misconceptions about hearing loss. Below is a list of common hearing loss myths and the truths behind them.
Myth: Hearing Loss Only Affects Old People
Forty-eight million Americans experience hearing loss, many of whom are not “old.” While hearing loss can be caused by the natural aging process, other common causes include genetic factors, noise exposure, head trauma and ototoxic drugs.
Approximately five out of every 1,000 babies are born with hearing loss. Additionally, teenagers are susceptible to hearing loss caused by noise damage; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 16 percent of teens ages 12 to 19 have some degree of hearing loss that they attribute to loud noise. A total of 26 million Americans between ages 20 and 69 experience noise induced hearing loss.
Myth: Primary Care Physicians Screen for Hearing Loss
Most primary care physicians do not screen for hearing loss during a regular physical exam. If you suspect you may have hearing loss, bring it up at your next appointment. Your PCP can place a referral for you to see an expert audiologist who can conduct a comprehensive hearing exam.
Myth: Hearing Loss in One Ear Is No Big Deal
While you may still pick up most sounds with your good ear, your brain relies on auditory input from both ears to localize and recognize sounds. Single-sided deafness can impact your ability to determine where sounds are coming from and make it difficult to understand speech in background noise.
Myth: Hearing Aids Restore Hearing to Normal
Hearing loss is not the same as vision loss, and hearing aids do not correct your hearing the way glasses or contacts correct your vision. Once you have damaged the stereocilia of your inner ear, it cannot simply be reversed. Instead, hearing aids work by amplifying sounds to a volume your ears can hear without having to strain.
Today’s hearing aids have features like Bluetooth connectivity, directionality, automatic programming, smartphone controls and more. They are even available in discreet colors and styles, and many are nearly invisible.
For more information about today’s hearing technology, call Arizona Hearing Specialists today!