The Truth Behind Common Myths About Hearing Loss
RAPID CITY, S.D. — When it comes to hearing loss, a number of myths, misconceptions, and objections exist that may prevent people from getting the treatment they need to function at their best. In fact, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, only about one in five people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually use one. In this article, we’ll be addressing some of those hearing loss myths so you can feel confident in taking the next step on your journey to better hearing.
Myth #1: My hearing isn’t that bad. I don’t need hearing aids.
Hearing loss develops very gradually, so it’s often difficult to recognize that you can’t hear as well as you once could. Cassandra Garver, a licensed hearing instrument specialist at Lifetime Hearing Solutions, sees many patients who don’t realize the extent of their hearing loss, or aren’t aware that it could be made better with a hearing aid.
“How we perceive our hearing and how it actually is tends to be very different,” said Garver. As such, Garver recommends beginning annual hearing exams by age 50, or sooner if you notice any changes in your hearing or have a family history of hearing loss.
Myth #2: Hearing aids are bulky and unattractive.
Worry about how hearing aids will look stops many people from considering them. Many modern hearing aids, however, are as small as a coffee bean and fit discreetly inside or behind your ears, making them virtually invisible to others. Garver suggests that people put their worries about appearance aside and give hearing aids a fair chance. “Every hearing aid business offers a trial period and you won’t know what you’re missing unless you try. Only after a trial can you determine if wearing the hearing aid is beneficial to you or not.”
Myth #3: If I can’t afford the top-of-the-line hearing aid, it’s not worth having them at all.
While it’s true that higher-priced hearing aids offer more advanced technology, you shouldn’t forgo wearing a hearing aid completely just because you can’t afford the top-of-the-line model. “You’re going to hear better in a lower-cost hearing aid than you would without the hearing aid,” said Garver. “So, it’s better to select a more cost-effective option versus going without it.”
Myth #4: Hearing loss is annoying, but it won’t affect my health.
Many people don’t realize that hearing loss is more than just an annoyance. People who experience hearing loss are more likely to fall, experience walking problems, become isolated, suffer from depression, and even develop dementia.
While it might be surprising to learn that hearing loss could contribute to dementia, it makes sense. Garver explains, “If you have a hearing problem and can’t hear what people are saying in a family or group environment, you’ll just check out and stay in your own little world.” Research shows that the lack of brain stimulation can contribute to a faster rate of atrophy in the brain, increasing the risk of dementia.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to hearing loss, try to put your worries, doubts, and insecurities about hearing aids aside. “You’re only hurting yourself when you don’t wear your hearing aids as you’re supposed to, which is every day,” said Garver. “I advise my patients to fully accept their hearing aids and make them a part of their lives.”
Hearing aids offer the gift of better hearing and with that, the ability to better interact with your friends and family—and that’s certainly worth it. To schedule an appointment to evaluate your hearing, contact Lifetime Hearing Solutions by calling 605-342-1619 or sending a message via the website.