Approximately 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. Despite this number, many common misconceptions about hearing loss persist. Following are some important facts concerning hearing loss.
- Hearing loss affects people of all ages. Many people associate hearing loss with the elderly, but in reality, only a little over 1/3 of hearing loss patients are older than 65. Noise induced hearing loss affects people young and old.
- Not everybody is aware of hearing loss. Hearing loss often develops slowly, and worsens gradually with time. Many people adapt to limited hearing without even realizing it. In fact, studies show it takes patients 7-10 years on average from the time symptoms first appear until they receive treatment.
- Hearing aids won’t cure hearing loss. Hearing loss is irreversible, and will only worsen over time. While hearing aids can’t restore damaged hearing, they do help you hear better by amplifying sounds. Approximately 95% of those with hearing loss are helped by hearing aids.
- Two hearing aids are better than one. Some patients believe wearing a single hearing aid is sufficient, but this is not the case. Most types of hearing loss affect both ears equally. Dual hearing aids offer better directionality and localization of sounds, and improve your overall listening experience in noisy settings. Plus, they produce a more natural sound quality.
- Hearing aids are not complicated to use. They may be sophisticated devices, but today’s hearing aids are pretty easy to use. They are programmed to your individual hearing preferences and lifestyle, and many adjust automatically to different listening environments. Bluetooth technology has led to wireless compatibility with a variety of communication devices, making them easier to control and providing more options.
- Technological improvements have eliminated a lot of the problems associated with older devices. The whistling sound that plagued many users with older analog hearing aids is no longer an issue. And if you’re worried that hearing aids will amplify everything, today’s devices are sophisticated enough to separate speech from background noise. Because they are programmed for your unique hearing loss, they target the frequencies you have trouble understanding, and will automatically adjust volume levels accordingly.
- Hearing aids do not make you look older. The inability to understand what another person is saying, and having that person frequently repeat what he or she is saying, is more apt to make you appear older.