Common Myths about Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids

There are many common myths still prevalent about hearing loss and hearing aids. I would like to dispel these myths now that you’re living in the 21st Century.

“My hearing loss cannot be helped.”

In the past, many people with hearing loss in one ear, with a high frequency hearing loss, or with nerve damage have all been told they cannot be helped, often by their family practice physician. This might have been true many years ago, but with modern advances in technology, nearly 95 percent of people with a sensorineural hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids.

“Hearing loss affects only old people and is a sign of aging.”

Only 35 percent of people with hearing loss are older than age 64. There are close to six million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss, and more than one million are of school age. Hearing loss affects all age groups.

“If I had a hearing loss, my family doctor would have told me.”

Not true! Only 13 percent of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. Since most hard of hearing people hear well in a quiet environment like your doctor’s office, it can be virtually impossible for your physician to recognize the extent of your problem. Without special training in and understanding of the nature of hearing loss, it may be difficult for your doctor to even believe that you have a hearing problem.

“The consequences of hiding hearing loss are better than wearing hearing aids.”

What price are you paying for vanity? I go back to the old adage that an untreated hearing loss is far more noticeable than hearing aids. If you miss a punch line to a joke or respond inappropriately in conversation, people may have concerns about your mental acuity, your attention span, or your ability to communicate effectively. The personal consequences of vanity can be life altering. At a simplistic level, untreated hearing loss means giving up some of the pleasant sounds you used to enjoy. At a deep level, vanity could severely reduce the quality of your life.

“Only people with serious hearing loss need hearing aids.”

The need for hearing amplification is dependent on your lifestyle, your need for refined hearing, and the degree of your hearing loss. If you’re a lawyer, teacher, or a group psychotherapist, where very acute hearing is necessary to discern the nuances of human communication, then even a mild hearing loss can be intolerable. If you live in a rural area by yourself and seldom socialize, then perhaps you’re someone who is tolerant of your hearing loss.

Excerpt by Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D.
©2009 Auricle Ink Publisher

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