The prevailing myths about hearing loss are debilitating and could hinder our ability to live with a fuller and richer hearing experience. Some of the reasons include our lack of education about hearing loss, lack of public awareness, social stigmatization, and popular untruths that need to be challenged.
Hearing loss is one of the top three public health concerns in the US asides from cancer and diabetes. Stay informed and stay engaged in the health of your hearing. The following are some common stereotypes that are accepted about the nature and affects of hearing loss that need to change.
Fiction: We don’t need to worry about our hearing until we get older
Fact: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that close to 40 million Americans from the age of 18 and over have had hearing problems. Further studies show that 60% of children reported with hearing issues had conditions that were preventable.
Take into consideration our lifestyles choices and noise pollution in our work and home environments as well as recreational activities we are increasingly vulnerable to hearing loss at any age. More data furnished by the CDC relays that exposure to noise in recreational environs puts over 1 billion people aged 12 years to 35 years at risk hearing impairment.
Our preventative measure for hearing loss needs to be implemented at every stage of our development for once damage is incurred it is difficult to regain our full and natural healing ability. It is agreed that hearing loss is a natural occurrence that gains speed as we age but at this point, it has been recorded that there are close to 50 million Americans under the age of 60 that suffer from hearing impairment.
Fiction: Our overall health is not directly affected.
Fact: The gradual and unseen progression of hearing loss is easy to ignore as we adapt and compensate to maintain normalcy in our day to day lives. This puts us in quite a precarious position because damage from hearing loss continues until we take notice of symptoms and stay proactive. When we start to hear distorted sounds, trouble deciphering between background noise and speech and constantly raising the volume on our TV or portable audio devices we need to acknowledge that our hearing is being negatively impacted.
If we are straining to hear and stay in engaged in our daily conversations in continuously higher degrees of intensity the toll will be physical and mental. The fatigue that many experience from gradual hearing loss can lead to social isolation as people withdraw from their otherwise normal routine involving friends and family.
Isolation from social groups and activities open people up more easily to depression.
Medical research has confirmed the correlation between cognitive decline and hearing loss. Our memory, for example, is one thing that is affected as we age. According to the CDC if we detect and treat the early onset of hearing decline, we can strengthen our cognitive abilities like our memory, now and for our future.
Fiction: Hearing loss is not a major health concern.
Fact: Unfortunately, hearing loss is one of the top three major health concerns in the US. There has been a lot of research studies on the prevalence of hearing loss and a call for action. The following is cited by the CDC:
“Reducing obstacles to use of hearing aids through educating patients about the importance of amplification, training health care professionals to understand and overcome patients’ perceived barriers, improving the quality and affordability of hearing aid devices, and increasing access to hearing health services are important public health objectives in view of the high prevalence of hearing loss in the US adult population.”
Currently, the US has 30 million people aged 12 years and older that have taken standardized hearing exams that reflected hearing loss in both ears. The World Health Organization (WHO) cites 500 million people worldwide that are afflicted with hearing loss.
Fiction: Hearing aids are commonly used by people that need them.
Fact: In the US, there are almost 30 million Americans who could benefit from the use of hearing aids but do not use them. The majority of people using hearing aids have been fitted when damage to the hearing has been done. Between medical research and propagation by the Mayo Clinic, the CDC and the WHO early detection and proper treatment with the appropriate hearing devices are urged. Fact is, the earlier hearing loss is detected the better the easier it is to retrain the brain for a natural hearing experience.
Make an appointment for yourself or a loved one with Able Hearing and strengthen your natural hearing and enrich your hearing health. We are here to encourage and support your endeavor in a better hearing experience and a healthier you overall.