Is hearing loss an isolated issue that doesn’t affect my overall health? Can a simple sound amplifier take the place of hearing aids? Is there nothing I can do about that ringing in my ears?
Nearly all hearing problems can be effectively managed, but misconceptions can get in the way of continuing the journey to better hearing health. We’re busting five myths with facts to help you stay on track!
Hearing impairment simply comes with aging.
Fact: “Age is the strongest predictor of hearing loss” for 20- to 69-year-olds, per the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, but did you know that about two to three of every 1,000 U.S. kids enter the world with a detectable impairment? In Canada, an estimated 4 out of 1,000 children are born with some form of hearing loss or will develop it early. Plus, noise-related hearing damage — a cumulative and preventable problem — widely affects adults and youth.
Everyone will notice that I’m wearing hearing aids.
Fact: Hearing aids have evolved to become so much more sophisticated — and much smaller — than their yesteryear counterparts, with some models nestled invisibly in or behind the ear. You may be surprised to realize how many people are discreetly wearing hearing technology, which comes in many shapes, sizes, and styles to fit diverse listening and aesthetic needs.
Hearing loss is an isolated issue that doesn’t affect my overall health.
Fact: On the contrary, hearing loss is a chronic public-health challenge that, if left untreated, can have far-reaching consequences for physical, mental, social, and even financial wellness. For example, individuals with severe hearing loss are five times as likely to develop dementia, and untreated hearing loss can reduce household earnings by as much as $30,000.
A personal sound amplification product, or PSAP, will take care of my hearing loss.
Fact: Wearable electronic amplifiers, designed to hear environmental sounds for those who don’t have hearing loss, only make a sound louder and are neither currently FDA-regulated nor recommended to treat actual hearing loss. Inappropriate use of PSAPs could even cause or aggravate hearing damage, so it’s best to let your hearing care professional evaluate your hearing and help you determine the best solution for your unique listening needs.
That ringing in my ears is all in my head, and nothing can be done about it.
Fact: If you perceive a ringing, buzzing, whistling, or humming in your ears that nobody else seems to hear, you may be among the 8 to 25 percent of adults worldwide with chronic tinnitus, a condition that can be managed. Tinnitus is commonly linked to health issues such as hearing loss. Treatments such as behavioral therapies and devices that may include hearing aids can make a difference in handling the problem.
Dana Luzon Coveney,
Au. D. , FAAA, Doctor of Audiology
Originally from Southern NJ, Dana Luzon received her undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the Richard Stockton College of NJ, and continued on to receive her Doctorate of Audiology at Salus University’s residential program. Her varied clinical experiences throughout her doctoral studies include: VA hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, ENT and private practice settings. Her professional interests include: audiologic rehabilitation and progressive tinnitus devices. Her interests in the field outside of the clinic include: Humanitarian Audiology, and Audiology Awareness. Dr. Luzon currently lives in West Palm Beach, FL.
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