You have an inkling something’s wrong with your hearing. So, what’s holding you back from getting the help you need? In many cases, people don’t take action because of preconceived notions about hearing loss and hearing aids. Well, many of these notions are actually myths.
Following are eight of the most common misconceptions we’ve encountered at Shelby Hearing Center:
MYTH: I’m too young to have a hearing loss.
FACT: Hearing loss affects people of all ages. This includes an estimated 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 who have high-frequency hearing loss due to exposure to noise.
MYTH: My hearing loss is not treatable.
FACT: Nearly 95% of people with high-frequency hearing loss (the most common type) can be helped with hearing aids.
MYTH: Only people with a serious hearing loss need hearing aids.
FACT: Even a mild hearing loss can lead to significant issues. For example, in the workplace, it may cause you to miss important words. At home, you may turn up the TV or radio too loud for other family members. You may even be unable to hear alarms or other warning signals, compromising your safety.
MYTH: I’ll learn to live with my hearing loss.
FACT: Numerous studies have linked untreated hearing loss to social isolation, as well as an increased risk for depression, dementia and other health problems.
MYTH: I’m self-conscious, and hearing aids are just too noticeable.
FACT: First of all, hearing aids today are smaller and more discreet than ever. Chances are, other people won’t know you’re wearing them. Secondly, untreated hearing loss is often more obvious than a hearing aid — especially if you frequently ask others to repeat themselves or you respond inappropriately in conversations.
MYTH: Hearing aids will make some things sound too loud.
FACT: Once upon a time, hearing aids amplified all sounds equally, making some sounds unbearably loud. Today’s digital, computerized hearing aids are so “smart,” they can boost the soft sounds you want to hear while suppressing less desirable sounds.
MYTH: I can get by with just one hearing aid.
FACT: Most people who have hearing loss in both ears will benefit significantly from “binaural” amplification (two hearing aids). Benefits include improved identification of sound sources, better hearing in noisy situations and more natural sound quality.
MYTH: It’s smart to buy a hearing aid on the Internet or by mail order.
FACT: While you may pay a low price, you won’t get the expert audiological services that are so critical to satisfaction with hearing aids. By working with an audiologist, you’re assured of accurate testing, correct hearing aid selection, proper programming, verification of fit/performance and follow-up care. When you add it all up, the care you receive from an audiologist is a much better value!
I’ll be glad to answer your questions and discuss any concerns you may have about hearing loss and hearing aids. Call Shelby Hearing Center today at 1-877-465-6068 to schedule a no-obligation consultation and hearing evaluation.
Dr. Kay Young is an audiologist at Shelby Hearing Center, where she has served individuals with hearing loss since 1984.