Hearing loss is quite a frequently experienced issue: in the UK, there are 12 million adults who are affected by a hearing impairment of over 25dB, which is equivalent to 1 in 5 people.
However, there are still many misconceptions about the condition that are commonplace. Some of them are simply outdated beliefs, and others are based on incorrect assumptions. Whichever the case, it can sometimes be hard to filter out the misinformation from the truth.
Below we have debunked 5 of the biggest hearing loss myths:
Myth 1: ‘Hearing Loss Only Affects the Elderly’
Even though age-related damage to the inner ear is the biggest cause of hearing impairment, it is not true that it is the only factor that can lead to it. Hearing loss can affect people of all ages and can occur as a result of various reasons:
Myth 2: ‘Hearing Loss Does Not Affect Your Overall Health’
As discussed in last week’s blog post, our ability to hear is not the only aspect of our overall health that hearing loss affects. In fact, it has been connected to several side effects that can take a toll on your general wellbeing, including:
- Cognitive decline
- Mental health issues
- Digestive problems
- Balance difficulties
- Muscle tension
Myth 3: ‘Mild Hearing Loss Does Not Require Treatment’
One of the most common (and perhaps even dangerous) misconceptions is that if you only suffer from a mild hearing loss, you don’t need to treat it.
In fact, receiving treatment such as hearing aids can be incredibly beneficial for mild hearing loss cases, helping the individual improve various areas from their life, including work, relationships, and mental health.
Another aspect that receiving treatment at an early stage can help with is the adjustment period that the first few months of wearing hearing aids involves. Mild hearing loss is the best starting point for receiving treatment as it makes the transition to using hearing aids easier for the individual.
Myth 4: ‘Hearing Aids Are Unattractive’
Unfortunately, due to unfair ageist preconceptions, many people tend to link hearing aids to the idea of getting older and appearing less attractive. In fact, hearing aids do not have any real effect on the way you look. Additionally, most individuals who do start wearing hearing aids tend to be surprised by how few people actually notice them, if any do at all.
Furthermore, there have been many technological developments that have put bulky hearing aids in the past and have replaced them with stylish, attractive designs, including IIC (invisible-in-canal) options that are placed deep inside the ear canal.
For example, Oticon Own’s IIC style is invisible in 9 out of 10 ears, making it ideal for individuals looking to better their hearing experience without wearing a visible hearing aid.
Myth 5: ‘Hearing Loss Is Inevitable and Cannot Be Prevented’
While it is true that certain types of hearing loss are not preventable, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of ototoxic, noise-induced or age-related hearing loss occurring:
- Avoid spending too much time around loud noise
- Use hearing protection in noisy environments
- Avoid smoking/breathing second-hand smoke
- Be mindful of drugs which involve hearing risks
- Have your hearing tested regularly
There you have it: the most prevalent misconceptions about hearing loss debunked!
In case you think you might be suffering from undiagnosed hearing impairment, why not book one of our free hearing tests? Click here to book your appointment today!