Hearing loss has become the fastest-growing health concern in the US. When we think of our hearing, we don’t seem to incorporate it into our overall health program as one would when it comes to the health of our heart or eyesight, or blood pressure. Myths about hearing loss are prevalent and need to be debunked. To encourage you to invest in your hearing health, the following article will provide information in contrast to some common misconceptions the general public has.
Fiction: Hearing loss doesn’t affect your health.
Fact: Nothing could be farther from the truth. Medical research firmly established a direct link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. It has also been proposed that the earlier hearing loss is treated, the better our memory performance as we age.
The loss of hearing often results in a negative impact on our social and professional lives.
Many people start to withdraw from social interactions and recreational activities as the ability to communicate becomes tedious and restrictive. This leaves many people feeling isolated and more vulnerable to feelings of depression.
Hearing loss may also lead to fatigue, as people with hearing loss constantly ask people to repeat what they have said or try to fill the spaces of unheard speech. Sounds that are easy to decipher become distorted, and conversation can sound muffled. Consistent strain from staying engaged in conversation is discouraging and takes a physical and mental toll.
Fiction: Hearing loss doesn’t affect a lot of people.
Fact: Worldwide, the statistics show that that is overwhelmingly untrue. As stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 34 million children that have debilitating hearing loss. When added with the number of adults, the total comes to almost 500 million people across the globe.
In reality, hearing loss is the fastest growing health concern in the US, along with diabetes and cancer. Additionally, based on records of standardized hearing examinations published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 30 million Americans over 11 suffer hearing loss in both ears. in addition, the CDC has estimated that “by 2050 over 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss.” Coupled with the unseen nature of hearing loss and a lack of public awareness, hearing loss is becoming a prevalent health issue for the public.
Fiction: Only older people suffer hearing loss.
Fact: Once again, statistics dispel this myth. Data from the CDC shows that “1.1 billion young people (aged between 12–35 years) are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to noise in recreational settings.” In further studies conducted by the CDC, it was found that hearing loss occurring during childhood was preventable in 60% of the cases. Yes, hearing loss occurs faster as we get older, but currently, almost 50 million Americans with hearing loss are under 60. The CDC has also found that 38 million aged 18 and over have reported hearing afflictions.
Fiction: Everyone that has hearing loss uses hearing aids.
Fact: Unfortunately, we usually attend to our hearing loss when the damage has already been incurred. Close to 30 million Americans do not have hearing aids but would greatly benefit from their use. Hearing loss is also slow and gradual, and in this case, people automatically start to compensate until permanent damage is manifested.
It usually begins with minor changes such as increasing the TV volume, asking people to repeat themselves or staying away from loud environments in social situations.
It is also known that people wait five years or more after they acknowledge their hearing is on the decline before they seek proper testing and treatments from hearing health professionals. This is quite unfortunate because early detection is key to retaining a full and rich experience for the duration of your life!
We encourage and invite you to empower yourself and your hearing health starting today. Invest in and strengthen your hearing health by setting an appointment for yourself or a loved one. If you have any questions or concerns, we are here to support you on your journey to a fuller and richer hearing experience.