Mythbusters: The Truth About Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids

hearing loss and hearing aids

It’s time to get our facts straight. There are many hearsays about hearing loss that we may have been pushed to believe. There are also some circumstances that we think is normal and should not raise any alarms. However, what really is the truth about hearing loss? Here are a few myths about hearing loss, the use of hearing aids, and the truth behind them.

MYTH: Hearing loss happens only because of old age.

TRUTH: Hearing loss can happen at any point of our lives. Did you know:

  • that one in a thousand live births is born with hearing loss?
  • hearing loss starts at 45 years of age and becomes noticeable by the individual usually only in his 60s? But the others around him/her may have already noticed he/she is hard of hearing.
  • 70% of all people over 65 years old have hearing loss.
MYTH: If I have hearing loss, I would know about it.

TRUTH: Hearing is a passive sense and when you have it, you think eveything is normal. But when you gradually lose it, you dont notice the loss right away but people around you will begin to notice that your reactions and comprehension is getting worse slowly.

A common sign of hearing loss is that you find difficulty keeping up in group conversations while the others around you seem to be listening just fine. Signs of hearing loss are usually subtle and unnoticeable until it causes complications and discomforts in normal social settings.

MYTH: Only one of my ears has hearing loss. My other ear is completely okay.

TRUTH: Our body is a very relative piece of art. One good ear could mean two bad ears. Because one is better than the other, we tend to favour it more, using it in more situations. However, this shouldn’t really be the case. This illusion causes us to put more strain to the “better” ear, when in fact, hearing loss has affected both ears.

MYTH: Hearing loss is normal for my age.

TRUTH: While it is true that hearing loss can happen at any point in our lives, it doesn’t mean that it should not be given attention to. Think of it as being “overweight” for people with high blood. Just because it’s normal doesn’t necessarily mean that no course of action should be taken. This is especially true about hearing loss as studies has sown that ignoring a hearing loss and not treating it with hearing aid amplification can lead to a much higher risk of dementia and brain deterioration. 

MYTH: If I had hearing loss, my doctor would have told me.

TRUTH: Doctors, even during routine check-ups, don’t really check for hearing loss. One may consider the fact that most people with hearing impairments can hear well in a quiet setting like the doctor’s office as a reason as to why the condition is unrecognizable.

MYTH: Hearing loss doesn’t affect the rest of my health.

TRUTH: Leaving your hearing loss untreated can cause several issues with the body such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, social isolation, and depression. This cognitive load on the brain can affect its other functions such as short-term memory.

MYTH: Loud music is to be blamed for my hearing loss.

TRUTH: While listening to loud music can be a cause of hearing loss, it is not solely the perpetuator. There are also several causes of hearing loss such as genetics, intake of certain medication, bad smoking habit, and other complications such as diabetes. Read: how to protect your ears while enjoying music.

MYTH: I don’t have hearing Loss. I just need to amplify the volume.

TRUTH: One may opt for this solution but that’s not really how it works. You may increase the volume of your TV and earphones, or you may even ask people speak louder just so you can understand them. There’s a much simpler and easier way to solve this and that is with the use of hearing aids.

MYTH: Hearings aids are ugly.

TRUTH: Yes, they are ugly. That is if we are talking about them from back in the days when they used to be so large and only had a few design options to choose from. Technology has made it possible for these devices to be sleek and small and could even appear invisible.

MYTH: If I use hearing aids, I’ll get my normal hearing back.

TRUTH: Hearing aids only help you hear better. It doesn’t bring back the normal functions of your ears. They can only improve your ability to hear well just as long as you have the correct settings on your device.

May these mythbusters shed some light on your queries and finally inform you of the truth behind hearing loss and hearing aids. For more information about it, you may contact Listening Lab Singapore at +65 6817 5100.

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