There are some common myths about hearing loss that sometimes confuse people.
See if any of these sound familiar:
In general, there are two types of hearing loss: Conductive & Sensorineural.
A combination of both is seen as a Mixed hearing loss.
The signs of hearing loss can be subtle, and may emerge slowly. Or they can be significant and come on suddenly. Either way, there are common indications that you should be aware of. You should suspect hearing loss if you experience any of the signs below.
Require frequent repetition
Have difficulty following conversations involving more than 2 people
Think that other people sound muffled or are mumbling
Have difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms
Have trouble hearing children and women
Have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume
Answer or respond inappropriately in conversations
Have ringing in your ears
Read lips or more intently watch people’s faces when they speak to you
Feel stressed out from straining to hear what others are saying
Feel annoyed at other people because you can’t hear or understand them
Feel embarrassed to meet new people or from misunderstanding what others are saying
Feel nervous about trying to hear and understand
Withdraw from social situations that you once enjoyed because of difficulty hearing
Have a family history of hearing loss
Take medications that can harm the hearing system (ototoxic drugs)
Have diabetes, heart, circulation or thyroid problems
Have been exposed to very loud sounds over a long period or single exposure to explosive noise
The truth is actually the reverse of what most people think. The majority (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. So hearing loss affects all age groups.
This is not true. Only 13% 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 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 difficult for your doctor to even realize that you have a hearing problem.
Many people know someone whose hearing improved after medical or surgical treatment. It’s true that some types of hearing loss can be successfully treated. With adults, unfortunately, this only applies to 5-10% of cases.
In the past, many people with hearing loss in one ear, with a high frequency hearing loss, or with nerve damage have been told they cannot be helped, sometimes by their family practice physician. While this might have been true many years ago, with modern advances in technology, nearly 95% of people with a sensorineural hearing loss can be helped with hearing aids.
What price are you paying for 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, vanity could severely reduce your quality of life.
Looking older is clearly more affected by almost all other factors besides hearing aids. It is not the hearing aids that make one look older, it is what one may believe they imply. If hearing aids help you function like a normal hearing person, for all intents and purposes the stigma is removed. Keep in mind that an untreated hearing loss is more obvious than a hearing aid. Smiling and nodding your head when you don’t understand what’s being said makes your condition more apparent than a hearing aid.