In order to separate the facts from the myths, below are several common misconceptions about hearing loss:
You Need to Speak Louder – Increasing the volume can sometimes distort the quality of sound. Don’t just focus on volume but also on clarity. Also, try sitting closer to the person – it will help with lip reading.
Hearing Loss Only Affects Old People – Only 30 percent of people with some form of hearing loss are 65 or older. There are many causes of hearing loss that have nothing to do with age.
Stop Saying “Nevermind” or “It Wasn’t Important” – When someone with hearing loss asks you to repeat something, don’t respond with “Don’t worry, it wasn’t important”. This can be frustrating since it makes the other person feel as though the conversation is being edited. Let them decide whether something is important or not.
Having Hearing Loss Is No Big Deal – Outside of just the physical effects of hearing loss, there are significant psychological events. Hearing loss can cause frustration, withdrawal and even depression. However, with modern day technology, over 90% of hearing disorders are now treatable.
Hiding Your Hearing Loss Is Better Than Wearing Hearing Aids – Worried about your vanity? 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 deeper level, it could severely reduce the quality of your life.
If You Already Suffer from Hearing Loss, You Don’t Have Worry About Protecting Your Hearing – Since hearing loss accumulates, the more exposure to loud sounds, the worse your hearing can become.
If Your Hearing Loss Isn’t That Bad, You Can Wait To Get A Hearing Aid – The longer you wait to get treatment for your hearing loss, the harder it will be. When your brain isn’t stimulated, it stops recognizing sound. There is hope though. Thanks to neuroplasticity, our brains can begin to relearn to hear by using hearing aids regularly.
If You Had Hearing Loss, Your Family Physician Would Have Told You – This is not true! According to the Better Hearing institute, only 14% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. Since most people with hearing impairments hear well in a quiet environment like a doctor’s office, it is not very often your physician will recognize the extent of your problem. Without special training, and an understanding of the nature of hearing loss, it may be difficult for your doctor to even realize that you have a hearing problem. That is why you need to get your hearing checked regularly by a qualified audiologist.
Hearing Loss Is Extremely Noticeable – Since hearing loss occurs gradually over time, many people don’t even realize they have it. Even your general practitioner can miss a diagnosis. The best thing to do is to visit a hearing specialist to receive a hearing evaluation.
Hearing Aids Restore Hearing to Normal – Hearing aids are “aids” called aids for a reason. They do not cure hearing loss but instead help the hearing that is still intact.
All People With Hearing Loss Read Lips – When someone develops hearing loss, they don’t automatically become expert speech-readers. Most people will need formal instruction to learn this skill and even very skilled speech-readers only capture about 40% of what is being said. Speech reading can be helpful but it’s not a final solution.
Deaf people prefer to be called “Hearing Impaired” – This really comes down to personal preference. Some people who are legally deaf prefer to be called ‘hard of hearing ‘while others prefer to be called deaf. There is no one size fits all.
If you would like to speak with an experienced hearing care professional, contact us today. We have multiple convenient hearing center locations located throughout Western New York including Dansville, Hornell and Wellsville.