10 Hearing Loss Myths

This blog post has been reviewed and approved by a hearing healthcare professional.


Over the years there have been many myths circulating about hearing loss. Here are ten hearing loss myths you should stop believing:

MYTH: Doesn't affect the rest of my health
Fact: When hearing loss goes untreated it can increase your risk of dementia, depression, social isolation, and falls.¹

MYTH: You can only inherit hearing loss from your family

Fact: While there are genetic factors that make some people more prone to hearing loss, you can also develop hearing loss from unsafe exposure to noise, or from aging. There are two types of permanent hearing loss²:

● Congenital hearing loss is present from birth, but not all of these cases are genetic. In fact, only a low percentage of hearing loss cases are caused by genetics. 

● Acquired hearing loss is formed over time. This can happen to anyone, regardless of age or genetics.

MYTH: Hearing loss can be improved by surgery

Fact: Some types of hearing loss can be solved by surgery. Unfortunately, this only applies to five to ten percent of cases.³

**MYTH: If I had hearing loss, my family doctor would have told me

Fact: Many physicians do not routinely screen for hearing loss. If you think you have hearing loss you can call one of our local clinics for a hearing test.

MYTH: Hearing loss only affects old people

Fact: While many seniors are diagnosed with hearing loss, they are not the only ones who can experience it. Many people can acquire hearing loss after illness or by being exposed to loud noises over an extended period of time. 

  

The World Health Organization has warned that 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss “due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars, and sporting events.” 


MYTH: Hearing instruments are only required in cases of serious hearing loss

Fact: Hearing loss is often a slow progression⁴ and like most health issues, early intervention is key. The sooner you act, the better chance you have for your brain to retrain itself how to manage and discern sounds.³

MYTH: Hearing aids are ugly

Fact:Hearing aids have come a long way in the past 20 years, and many of these advancements have made them smaller, easier to use, more aesthetically pleasing, and they include some of the latest technology. They are no longer the chunky, beige devices of the past. 

  

Some hearing aids are small enough to fit inside your ear canal or tucked behind your ear. They also come in a wide variety of colours. For example, the stylish Signia Styletto has a unique design that looks like an ear cuff while the Signia Active Pro is designed to look like an earbud. 


MYTH: I can hear in one ear, so I only need one hearing aid

When you only wear one hearing aid, you may be missing out on binaural hearing, which is one of the advan­tages of the way the brain processes sound.⁵ 


MYTH: Living with hearing loss is not a big deal

Fact: While many people can cope with the effects of hearing loss, it doesn’t change the fact that many people find it difficult. People living with hearing loss are more at risk for accidents.⁴ Therefore, while hearing loss itself isn’t fatal, it can impact your quality of life.

MYTH: If you are hearing impaired, it just means sounds aren't loud enough

Fact: While speaking up and making your words clear can make it easier for people with hearing loss to hear you, shouting or raising your voice at them doesn’t help. It impacts the ability to hear and understand speech, especially in noisy environments. Hearing loss is an individual experience, and how a person adjusts will depend on many factors such as the nature of the loss, the severity of the loss, communication demands, and personal skills. Hearing loss has also been linked to feelings of depression, anxiety, frustration, social isolation, and fatigue.⁶ The fitting of hearing aids can be part of a hearing loss treatment program that includes the individual’s needs and hearing assessment. 




Now that you know some facts about hearing loss you can help take the next steps in your hearing healthcare journey by contacting one of our local hearing clinics.

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1 Joglekar, Samisha. “Exploring the Relationship between Hearing Loss and Fall Risk.” Canadian Audiologist 1, no. 4 (2014). Accessed Apr 28, 2022. https://canadianaudiologist.ca/exploring-the-relationship-between-hearing-loss-and-fall-risk/

 

2 Burke, Darla. “Hearing Loss: Causes, Symptoms and Prevention.” Heathline. November 5, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2022. https://www.healthline.com/health/hearing-loss 

 

3 Banks, Rex. “Busting Myths about Hearing Loss.” Canadian Hearing Services. March 1, 2021. Accessed April 28, 2022. https://www.chs.ca/blog/busting-myths-about-hearing-loss

 

4 “Hearing Loss: A Common Problem for Older Adults.” National Institute on Aging. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Content reviewed: November 20, 2018. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-common-problem-older-adults 

 

5 “One hearing aid or two?” Harvard Health Publishing. December 5, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2022. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/one-hearing-aid-or-two 

 

6 Kalanad, Mary, Kate Salvatore. “The Psychology of Hearing Loss.” The ASHA Leader, 7, no.5. March 1, 2002. Accessed April 28, 2022. https://leader.pubs.asha.org/doi/full/10.1044/leader.FTR1.07052002.4