Myths can be great when it comes to reading and storytelling. Who doesn't love a fantastic fable or sensational tale with larger-than-life characters and exciting plot twists? But myths about hearing loss are another story all together. False information can be quite damaging to not only those with hearing loss, but also the people who live with, love and care for those who have trouble hearing.
Here are seven common hearing loss myths that are flying around out there that need a good debunking.
This is perhaps the most prevalent hearing loss myth, with years of elderly stereotypes on TV and in movies helping this common misconception gain traction. The fact is that Australians of all ages can have difficulty hearing. While the chances of experiencing hearing loss do increase with age, a number of those affected will have hearing difficulty before they're old enough to apply for their seniors card. Don't discount hearing difficulties just because you haven't yet celebrated your 60th birthday.
So, now you know old age isn't a requirement for hearing issues. But neither is blasting loud noises into your ears. While it's certainly a good idea to keep your headphones at a reasonable volume and stand a bit further away from speakers and amplifiers at a concert, doing so might not stop you from experiencing hearing loss. Loud noises and direct trauma in and around your ears can certainly cause damage, but there are many other common causes of hearing loss. These include, but are not limited to, lifestyle habits like poor diet and smoking, genetic conditions and illness.
Those with hearing loss can feel isolated socially, especially when hearing loss arrives later in life. It can be incredibly difficult to adjust to enjoying experiences differently after decades of living a certain way. But that doesn't mean those with hearing loss have to manage it on their own. If you're struggling with hearing loss, know that those who love and care about you are willing to help you adapt. And if you're one of those looking to support a friend, family member or colleague, there are plenty of ways to talk about hearing loss that can make it easier for those having a rough go of it.
Similar to computers and mobile phones, hearing aids have undergone quite the transformation in recent years to make them sleeker, more stylish and adaptable to everyday life. Now there is a huge range of options to suit users of different ages and lifestyles, from those who are on the go for work and play to those who live a more measured, quieter life.
Many of these, including in the ear canal and receiver in the ear styles, remain well-hidden while still delivering quality hearing assistance. Such improvements in appearance and technology can also dispel the hearing loss myth that if one hearing aid doesn't work for you, no hearing aid will work for you.
As long as you can hear pretty well, there's no need to look into how you can deal with your hearing loss, right? Wrong. The longer you wait to find methods and tools for addressing your hearing loss, the harder it can be to improve your hearing. When you experience issues, your brain's ability to recognise sound decreases.
Hearing aids can help retrain your brain to recognise sound in a different way, but the longer you wait to give your brain this assistance, the longer it will take for it to adjust. That's why nipping hearing loss in the bud by utilising the power of hearing aids early on is your best bet.
On the surface, many might think hearing loss is an issue that's exclusive to the ears. But that couldn't be further from the truth. As previously mentioned, hearing loss can have a massive impact on the mental health of those experiencing issues. In some cases, feelings of social isolation can lead to depression and other disruptive issues that can have far-reaching effects. In addition to mental health issues, poor hearing can put stress on your body and cause headaches and muscle tension and also potentially increase your chances of developing memory loss or dementia.
One thing that stops many people from dealing with health issues is fear of how expensive it will be. While your circumstances and specific needs will determine how much getting hearing aids can cost, the Australian Government Hearing Services Program can help make getting the help you need more affordable. This scheme includes full or partial subsidy of hearing tests, hearing aids and other devices and continued maintenance of this equipment. The program can help eliminate a big hearing loss myth that can get in the way of you getting the help you need.
Don't let hearing loss myths get in the way of you addressing issues that can negatively impact various areas of your personal and professional life.