Hearing loss is a subject that rarely gets discussed amongst peers and family members. As a result, it’s something that society doesn’t know a lot about. In fact, there’s every chance you know very little about hearing loss unless you’ve seen an audiologist and been diagnosed with it.

Consequently, there are lots of myths going around on this topic. It can be challenging to differentiate between what is correct and what is nonsense. So, we have created this short guide to help you learn about a few of the most common hearing loss myths. We’ve picked four for you to look at, so you’ll soon know what not to believe:

Myth 1: Only Old People Experience Hearing Loss

The most common myth of all is that hearing loss is something you only see in the elderly population. This is simply untrue. While it is true that older people are more likely to experience hearing loss, people of all ages can have problems with their hearing.

The reason old people are associated with a loss of hearing is that the nerve pathways and sensors within the inner ear degenerate as you get older. So, you are likely to have worse hearing as you age. But young people can experience hearing loss too. In fact, more and more young people are experiencing this, largely thanks to constant exposure to loud noises, which damages their ears.

Myth 2: Hearing Loss is Always Permanent

Again, there is some truth behind this statement. In many cases, an audiologist will diagnose people with permanent hearing loss. This tends to happen when there are problems with the ear that affect your ability to hear. There’s no way to reverse things like sensory or nerve damage, so the hearing loss will be permanent and irreversible.

On the other hand, there are cases when people have temporary hearing loss. This is not uncommon as it can stem from something as simple as ear blockages. Audiologists regularly deal with patients that complain they can’t hear clearly, only to discover impacted earwax in their ear canal. Impacted ear wax is when the wax hardens and doesn’t drain away as it should. Thus, there’s a blockage that makes it harder to hear.

In situations like this, your hearing loss will only be temporary as you can target the problem and reverse the effects. So, yes, hearing loss can be permanent, but that isn’t always the case.

Myth 3: Hearing Aids Are Only Necessary if Hearing Loss is Severe

This is perhaps the most worrying myth as it leads to thousands of people not seeking treatment for hearing loss.

There’s a common misconception that you only need hearing aids if your hearing loss is severe. As long as you can still hear things, you won’t need hearing aids – right? Or, if one ear is fine, there’s no need for hearing aids – correct?

Both statements are wrong!

Hearing aids are necessary at the early signs of hearing loss. Why? Because when these devices are fitted correctly, they can help to prevent further and more drastic hearing loss. It’s also much easier to treat your hearing loss if you act quickly. If you start noticing the signs of hearing loss, you should contact an audiologist for a hearing test right away.

Myth 4: Hearing Loss Only Affects Your Hearing

It’s fairly obvious to assume that hearing loss is an issue that only concerns your ability to hear. In reality, this is extremely far from the truth. Again, there’s a clear element of truth to the statement – hearing loss will affect your ability to hear, there’s no question about it. But, the effects of hearing loss run deep and can impact many other elements of your health.

Most notably, individuals experiencing hearing loss are likely to have mental health problems as well. This is because the inability to hear properly impacts your social life and can make you anxious or depressed. You start worrying about going out with friends because you’re scared of asking them to repeat themselves. You fret about going shopping, talking on the phone, etc. There are even links between hearing loss and an increase in cognitive decline amongst older adults.

In short, hearing loss can affect much more than just your hearing – which is why it’s so important to get it treated!

If you would like to learn more about hearing loss – or receive a hearing test – contact Memphis Audiology today. We’re reachable at 901-708 -2916 and can book you in for an initial consultation with a qualified audiologist.

Tags: hearing loss basics