Whilst researching hearing loss in the early stages of my SSHL diagnosis, I came across a lot of myths about hearing loss out there so I thought it was time to debunk these and give you the facts.
Myth: Hearing Loss only happens to old people.
Fact: Hearing loss can occur in anyone of any age. It is true that those of an older age are more likely to develop a hearing loss as they get older but it isn’t true that most of those with hearing loss are old. I’m one such example!!
Myth: Hearing Loss isn’t a big deal.
Fact: Hearing loss can impact on every aspect of your life and isn’t easy to deal with, especially for those suffering with profound hearing loss.It can have an impact on you mentally, physically, socially and most importantly emotionally.
Myth: If I talk louder at the deaf person, it will be fine.
Fact: Volume isn’t the key. Talking louder can actually hinder someone hearing or lip-reading you as your facial expressions are exaggerated and sounds are distorted.
Myth: Hearing Loss cannot be helped.
Fact: Whilst some hearing loss cannot be prevented (such as progressive hearing loss due to age), most can by simply protecting your hearing in little ways. Go to gigs regularly? Wear earplugs.If you notice even the slightest change in your hearing, see an ENT consultant (Ear Nose Throat) or Audiologist. It’s as simple as that.
Myth:I only have trouble hearing certain sounds so I don’t need Hearing Aids/other hearing devices.
Fact: Hearing loss comes in all sorts of forms, from mild, moderate to severe and profound. Not everyone experiences the same type of hearing loss, i.e. some may have hearing loss in the lower frequencies whilst others in the higher meaning different sounds are audible to different people. Much like how a dog can hear a dog whistle but humans cannot. It is important to get correct treatment for your hearing loss, there are a wide range of hearing devices designed for different varieties of hearing loss, there is no one fit fits all approach.
Myth: Hearing Aids will restore my hearing to normal, much like glasses will give me 20/20 vision.
Fact: Sadly, this isn’t the case. Hearing aids can only amplify sounds you can already hear, it cannot bring back hearing that is lost. This is why some people do not like hearing aids, because they amplify ALL sounds, including those you don’t want to hear (i.e. background noise like wind).
Below is a chart showing the frequencies of different noises. For someone who has “normal” hearing, they would be able to distinguish all of the sounds pictured at all frequencies. Some however, have trouble distinguishing sounds that are high-pitched, such as the bird shown in the picture, but will have no issues hearing the sound of the tap or vice versa. All hearing losses are different and need to be treated individually.