Mythology runs rampant in the world of hearing loss. Many of our preconceived notions come from a bygone era when hearing loss looked quite different than it does today. If you are the loved one of someone with hearing loss, then you know from a second-hand perspective what that experience is like. However, only those who have hearing loss can truly understand what that experience means in everyday life. Even those with hearing loss might not have a clear sense of what others with hearing loss are experiencing. Let’s unpack some of the facts and fictions of hearing loss as a way to better understand what others are going through and to set ourselves up with reasonable expectations about the future.

Fact: Anyone can develop hearing loss.

Although it is true that older people have much higher rates of hearing loss, that doesn’t mean that younger people can’t lose their hearing ability, as well. Whether that younger person is employed at a noisy workplace, experiences a blast, or even takes part in loud recreational sound from earbuds, young people can lose hearing in much the same ways that older people do. As a matter of fact, younger people are losing their hearing at much higher rates than in prior generations, leading us to believe that these factors are at play.

Fiction: You can get by for a long time with untreated hearing loss.

Although you might feel like getting by with untreated hearing loss isn’t really a problem, the fact is that it can lead to a wide range of other health and wellness issues. Untreated hearing loss is correlated with physical health problems including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and it is also related to higher rates of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Those with untreated hearing loss also have higher rates of cognitive decline and the condition is even related to dementia. In one sense, you might feel like you’re getting by with hearing loss, but serious health concerns can be brewing beneath the surface.

Fact: Hearing aids technology has developed remarkably in recent years.

Your associations with hearing aids might only be the large plastic units that you heard whistling with feedback in years gone by. However, hearing aid technology has developed remarkably in just the last decade. Streaming, media sync, and Bluetooth connectivity may be the most drastic transformation to hearing aid capability in that time. Newer aids are able to send audio from your smartphone, music player, or television directly to your ears, bypassing the need to compete with other sounds in the environment. Furthermore, smartphone connectivity with the latest hearing aids makes it possible to change settings and styles of hearing directly from your smartphone, making it simpler than ever to get the sound you need.

Fiction: You can wait to schedule a hearing test.

With these facts in mind, it should come as no surprise that it is imperative to schedule a hearing test. This appointment is the first step in the direction of improving your hearing health. When you schedule your test, you will find that the exam itself is easy, painless, and quick. We will play a series of tones at different volumes, asking you to gesture when you have heard something. This simple test can translate into rich data that are used to diagnose your hearing ability across the frequency spectrum.

Each person’s hearing ability is different, and knowing what you can and can’t hear is crucial to getting the assistance you need. At your appointment, you will also be able to consult with us about features of your lifestyle and experience that need assistance. For instance, some people have particular trouble isolating a voice in a crowd, while others struggle with particular voices, such as those coming from women or children who tend to speak in higher registers.

With this information, we will be able to recommend the right range of hearing aids for your needs, if the time has come to get assistance. Even those who are not ready for hearing aids can benefit from this baseline test, so don’t delay making your appointment!