Sometimes we love to mislead ourselves by believing what we want to believe or believing what others tell us to believe. As Dr. H. Gustav Mueller once said, “You have to hear what you don’t want to hear to know what you don’t want to hear.” For example, did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb? Or did you know that cracking your knuckles really doesn’t lead to arthritis and that Thomas Crapper didn’t really invent the toilet? There are a lot of examples of beliefs that we assume to be accurate, but it’s good every now and then to reevaluate what we think we know.
So how is your hearing knowledge? For many of us, it’s time to learn about some of the misconceptions about hearing loss and hearing aids.
MYTH: Hearing loss affects only “old people” and is merely a sign of aging.
TRUTH: Actually, it is the reverse of what most people think. 65% of people with hearing loss are younger than age 65. There are more than six million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss, and nearly one and a half million are school age. Hearing loss affects all age groups.
MYTH: If I had a hearing loss, my family doctor would have told me.
TRUTH: Only 13% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. Since most people with hearing impairments hear well in quiet environments, like a doctor’s office or examining room, it can be virtually impossible for your physician to recognize the extent of your problem. Without special training and an understanding of the nature of hearing loss, it may be, and can be, very difficult for your doctor to even realize you have a hearing problem.
MYTH: My hearing loss is normal for my age.
TRUTH: Although it may be more common for loss at your age, it is not necessarily normal. But…isn’t it strange how we look at things? It happens to be “NORMAL” for overweight people to have high blood pressure. That doesn’t mean they should not receive treatment for the problem.
MYTH: I can wait until my hearing gets a lot worse before I need to do something about it.
TRUTH: The longer a person waits to take care of their hearing, the less a hearing aid will do for them in the future. You may suffer auditory deprivation, a possible speech impediment, and remember- untreated hearing loss carries the same symptoms as Alzheimer’s disease.
MYTH: My hearing loss is not that big of a deal. I can live with it.
TRUTH: According to the National Center for Health Statistics, hearing loss is listed as the third leading cause of health problems in individuals over the age of 50. Arthritis and Hypertension are one and two.
MYTH: My hearing loss does not affect anyone except me.
TRUTH: Your hearing affects everyone around you, including the ones who love you the most.
MYTH: Hearing aids are too expensive.
TRUTH: Some flat screen televisions sell for $8,000 or more, but this doesn’t make us say, “All TVs are too expensive.” Just like TVs, hearing aids range in cost depending on features and performance. You can almost always find hearing aids that fit your budget and lifestyle. The value of better hearing and a better life is almost always well worth the cost.
MYTH: You can save money buying hearing aids online.
TRUTH: You wouldn’t purchase a pair of prescription glasses on the internet without consulting your eye doctor, because your glasses need to fit your vision loss. Buying hearing aids is the same. Sure, visiting a hearing specialist may be more costly, but take into account what you get for the price. You can be confident that you get the right hearing aid with the right fitting and settings, along with follow-up care, adjustments, cleanings, instructions, repair services, and more. It’s well worth it.
MYTH: I have friends that wear hearing aids and it does not seem to help them.
TRUTH: It is true that some people do not do as well as others with hearing aids. Just remember this: we all do not get the same eyesight clarity with glasses, but we still do not want to be without them. The longer you wait to correct your hearing; the less you will get in return. You have one set of ears – take care of them.
If you feel you have a hearing loss, you’re not alone. What keeps you alone is not finding the help that is needed to correct the situation. Help is just a phone call away. If you or someone you know is suffering from this debilitating problem, please contact us today for a hearing exam. We can guide you in the direction you need to go for proper hearing care.