Don’t believe everything you’ve heard about hearing loss. Misconceptions about hearing loss could prevent you from getting the treatment you need if your hearing is already starting to fade. Below are 5 of the most common myths surrounding hearing loss.
Hearing loss only affects hearing
Like many health problems, hearing loss can have knock-on effects on the rest of your wellbeing if you ignore it. Not being able to hear things properly can lead to all kinds of issues such as not being able to follow conversations, not being able to hear the phone/doorbell or not being able to hear music/the TV as clearly. This can lead to anxiety and depression. People with hearing loss also have a higher risk of developing dementia – it is believed that hearing loss may strain our short term memory and may even cause brain shrinkage.
Only old people experience hearing loss
Hearing loss is a natural symptom that comes with ageing. However, it’s not just seniors that experience hearing loss. You can experience hearing loss for many other reasons – such as loud noise exposure or ear infections or even hereditary conditions. This can lead some people to develop hearing loss when they are still young. Protecting your ears by wearing earplugs in loud environments or while swimming may help prevent premature hearing loss. Regular hearing exams throughout your life can help to detect hearing issues.
Hearing loss is noticeable
While you’re likely to notice hearing loss once it gets severe, you may not notice hearing loss while it is still mild. Hearing loss often develops gradually, making it hard to know the difference. It’s possible that you could already be missing out on hearing certain sounds and frequencies without knowing – and this could already be having a negative effect on you such as making you less alert to hazards or dulling sounds that make day-to-day life cheerier. This is why it’s worth taking regular hearing exams to check whether you may already be experiencing hearing loss.
Treating hearing loss involves getting a big ugly hearing aid
Hearing aids have suffered from a bit of an image problem over the years, however that’s because many people tend to think of the large and bulky hearing aids of yesteryear. These hearing aids do still exist – and some people have even turned them into a fashion statement with hearing aid jewellery. However, nowadays you also have the choice of many subtle hearing aids and assistive listening devices that most people won’t even notice. There are even hearing aids that look like AirPods. All in all, hearing aids have come a long way – with the help of an audiologist, you can explore different options and find a pair that you are proud to wear.
I don’t need a hearing aid until my hearing loss is severe
Many people leave it too late before treating their hearing loss. You may find that your hearing loss is easy to cope with at first, but eventually it may start to cause problems such as difficulty hearing family and friends at social events and not hearing important warning sounds. You could avoid a lot of awkward and unpleasant situations by getting a hearing aid prescribed early. Hearing aids certainly don’t cure hearing loss, but they do make hearing a lot clearer.