With Doctor Google at everyone’s fingertips, there can be confusion in what is and isn’t true in healthcare. We’ve compiled a short list of audiological fact vs. fiction to help navigate hearing healthcare.
“Hearing loss only happens in adulthood” FICTION. Per the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 16% of the population ages 20-69 have hearing loss. Additionally, 2-3 of every 1,000 children are born with hearing loss in at least one ear.
“Hearing aids are large and unflattering” FICTION. As with other advances in technology, hearing aids have become smaller and more aesthetically pleasing. Many hearing aid manufacturers model their products to resemble mainstream Bluetooth earbuds. Hearing aids can be ordered to blend in with hair, skin, or glasses color. Hearing aids can also be ordered in vibrant colors to stand out as an accessory in daily life. There are many more options available now than there were even 5 years ago!
“Hearing aids are expensive” FACT. Hearing aids can be expensive however we offer multiple pricing points to try to accommodate financial needs. Some insurance companies may offer a hearing aid benefit as well.
“I can hear fine, I just have trouble in restaurants and with people who mumble. I don’t need hearing aids” FICTION. Hearing aids are probably needed! Many patients don’t recognize the amount of hearing loss in their daily lives however notice increased difficulty in noisy situations and with “mumblers.” Patients who describe their loved ones as mumblers usually have some high-frequency hearing loss that affects the quality and clarity of speech.
“Tinnitus is the reason I can’t hear” FICTION. Tinnitus does not cause hearing loss. Tinnitus is often the direct result of hearing loss. Tinnitus is not a sound, rather a signal created by the brain. Although the tinnitus may appear to interfere with your ability to hear, you likely have a hearing loss.
“Tinnitus causes dementia” FICTION. Although tinnitus could be a sign of underlying hearing loss and may contribute to stress and anxiety symptoms, tinnitus itself does NOT cause other health issues such as cognitive decline or dementia. Studies have been performed suggesting a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline, however, it is important to note that hearing loss is not the sole cause of dementia.