Fact or Fiction? Get the Scoop Here.
It’s easy to get the wrong idea about hearing loss — its effects are invisible.
In fact, misconceptions are commonplace, from antiquated stereotypes to wrong assumptions.
These common myths are a great starting point for correcting assumptions and removing the stigma associated with hearing loss.
MYTH: Talk Louder to Someone With Hearing Loss
For someone with hearing loss, volume isn’t the only issue. Lack of clarity is also a factor.
Suppose your car has a damaged speaker, so the sound is a little garbled. When you turn the volume up, it won’t fix the issue. You’ll hear the sounds better, but they will still be distorted.
But how is hearing loss like that?
Your inner ear has thousands of tiny structures called hair cells. They translate the sounds you hear into nerve impulses and send them to your brain.
Aging, loud sounds, and other stressors can damage your hair cells. When that happens, you lose a little of your hearing.
Often, the first sounds to go are those that help you distinguish words. “Cat” starts to sound like “hat,” “bug” like “hug.” You can hear someone’s voice just fine — the volume is appropriate — but what they’re saying isn’t clear.
Over-articulating doesn’t help because it changes natural speech rhythms. Lipreading becomes more difficult, not easier.
If you’re asked to repeat something, say it a different way instead of repeating it.
MYTH: In-the-Ear Hearing Aids Are Better Than Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids
No hearing aid style is best — the style that meets your unique listening lifestyle is the best for you.
In-the-ear styles address hearing loss from mild to severe. They’re discreet, custom-fit to your ears, and a good option for glasses-wearers or those with nasal cannulas.
Behind-the-ears styles are suitable for mild to profound hearing loss and are ideal for those with less dexterity. They also have a larger battery, for longer battery life. Plus, in-the-ear styles can create a plugged-up feeling you won’t get with an open-fit behind-the-ear hearing aid.
In-the-ear hearing aids are tiny, so there’s less space in which to put electronics. Therefore, in many cases they don’t have all the features available in behind-the-ear styles.
A conversation with your hearing care professional will clarify which style works best for your unique needs.
MYTH: You’ll Notice When You Develop Hearing Loss
As mentioned previously, aging and other stressors damage the tiny hair cells that make hearing possible. As that happens, you lose a little of your hearing ability.
But the damage usually happens gradually, so you likely won’t notice it at first.
Speech might not seem as clear, especially high-pitched voices. Background noise in restaurants might seem more intrusive. Autumn leaves underfoot don’t seem as crunchy.
Then you might start turning up the TV volume. And when did Uncle John start mumbling, anyway?
That’s why family members and co-workers are typically the first to notice you might need a hearing test. It affects them, too.
MYTH: Everyone With Hearing Loss Can Read Lips
Hearing loss is unique to each person who experiences it. It can run the gamut from mild to profound. The technology used could be a hearing aid or a cochlear implant.
People are different ages when they lose their hearing, they get different levels of auditory training, and they have different listening environments. So, some people with hearing loss read lips. Others don’t. It’s most helpful as a complement to any residual hearing.
But it still helps to face people with a hearing loss when speaking, as visual clues are always helpful, regardless of whether they read lips.
Contact us today if you’re ready to get your hearing tested!
We’ve got answers and we’re standing by to help.