The first image that comes to mind when someone talks about hearing loss or hearing problems is that of one of those clunky old hearing aids your grandparents used to wear.

Therefore, it is common for objections regarding hearing loss and hearing care to enter into the discussion. Most of these objections are included among the top six myths about hearing loss.

Because hearing loss can have devastating financial, mental and physical health, lifestyle, and relationship consequences when left untreated, we want to address these myths, so residents in Los Angeles and nearby communities will be better informed about how proper hearing care is essential to better health.

Myth #1 – My hearing problem doesn’t really bother anybody.

You are the person most affected by hearing loss and the one who will have to deal with the related issues. In addition to reducing your independence and quality of life, it can lead to strained relationships at work as well as among family and friends.

Untreated hearing loss also leads to mental and physical health problems and can have significant occupational and financial consequences as well.

Myth #2 – I would know if I had a hearing loss.

In reality, others usually know before the person with a hearing loss, and they usually tell you to seek help.

Because hearing loss gradually comes, you are not likely to notice it until significant damage has been done, requiring more aggressive treatment with limited effects.

Myth #3 – Just turn up the volume, and I will hear fine.

Most hearing loss issues do not relate to volume but clarity. Turning up distorted hearing only adds to the distortion.

High-frequency hearing loss eliminates certain sounds, which increased volume cannot help, such as birds singing, crickets chirping, and women and children’s voices.

It also makes it difficult to distinguish between various consonants like “s,” “f,” “sh,” “th,” and “ch” that are necessary for communication.

Myth #4 – Only old people have to worry about hearing loss.

Age-related hearing loss is indeed more common. However, hearing loss can also be caused by excessive noise events, prolonged noise exposure, continuous use of ototoxic drugs, genetics, diseases, and brain injuries, affecting individuals of any age.

In fact, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is among the most common causes of hearing loss, affecting about 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69, with nearly 16 percent of teens ages 12 to 19 experiencing a hearing loss due to loud noise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Myth #5 – Hearing tests won’t help my hearing.

A hearing assessment will help identify the specific type of hearing loss and its severity to prescribe the best treatment options for your condition.

Comprehensive hearing evaluations often identify hearing loss problems that can be treated with medications, minor surgery, or other treatment options, which may or may not include hearing aids.

They can also evaluate your risk for noise-induced hearing damage due to your occupational or lifestyle activities so that you can use proper hearing protection. At the same time, you work or enjoy events or hobbies.

Myth #6 – Hearing aids are bulky and a nuisance.

Micro-digital technology has made it possible for hearing aid manufacturers reduce the size of hearing aids while enhancing their performance.

Modern hearing aids are lightweight and less bulky and can be programmed to adapt to a wide range of environments. Many also come with smartphone streaming and connectivity options, allowing you to integrate your hearing aids with other digital devices such as televisions, stereos, computers, and more.

West Coast Hearing and Balance Centers Bust the Myths

Even though treatment for hearing loss helps to restore relationships, prevents a variety of mental and physical health problems, and allows you to live a richer, more independent lifestyle, many objections based on these six myths continue to prevent individuals from seeking treatment.

We’re busting those myths at West Coast Hearing and Balance Centers every day while providing our patients with a higher level of hearing care for residents of Ojai as well as those in the surrounding communities.

Don’t believe the myths. Contact us to schedule a hearing assessment designed to meet COVID protocols while ensuring an accurate evaluation of your hearing.

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Hang Lam, AuD.

Dr. Hang Lam graduated with an AuD from UC San Diego/San Diego State University's joint audiology program in 2014. She completed her audiology internship and remained on staff following graduation. She is experienced with working with all age groups and populations. Dr. Lam is a member of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology and the American Academy of Audiology. Hang speaks Vietnamese and enjoys hiking, camping, backpacking, snowboarding, archery, disc golf, cooking, acoustic guitar, arts and craft projects, jewelry making, painting, flower pressing, and cross-stitching.