The Women's Journal

Hearing Myth-Busters

By  |  0 Comments

By Alexa R. Lynch, Au.D.

When starting your journey to better hearing, you may have some biases based on what you have heard whispered down the lane. There are some common misconceptions about hearing loss and hearing aids, whether it is untrue stereotypes, outdated information, or just false information spread by word of mouth. Unfortunately, sometimes these misconceptions may hinder the timeliness for someone who wants and needs to pursue hearing treatment. So, let’s debunk some of these myths! 

Hearing Loss Is An   “Old-Person Thing”

Over 40 million people in America have hearing loss. While there is a strong correlation between age and hearing loss, hearing loss affects people of all ages. Additional causes of hearing loss include genetics, viruses/infections, noise exposure, etc. Even though many people are diagnosed later in life, age of onset is typically much sooner (40s-50s). Approximately 3 out of every 1,000 children are born with hearing loss.  An estimated 1 in 5 teens experience some degree of hearing loss.

My Hearing Isn’t Bad Enough For Hearing Aids

Trust your audiologist’s professional recommendation when it comes to hearing treatment. There are various indicators used to determine if you are a hearing aid candidate as well as gauging your success. Even a mild degree of hearing loss left untreated can have negative long-term effects such as cognitive decline or balance problems. Also, the sooner you treat your hearing loss the more successful you will be! 

Hearing Aids Eliminate Background Noise

Hearing aids have noise reduction technology; however, the primary goal is to enhance speech. Audiologists can make various adjustments to your programming to help improve this. There are also factors that determine your success with hearing in background noise such as your degree of hearing loss, speech understanding ability, and the technology you are fit with.  Wearing your hearing aids consistently also aids in your success! 

Hearing Aids Restore Hearing To “Normal”

Hearing aids are exactly what they say they are, an aid. The goal is improvement! Most people perceive a lot of benefit when wearing their hearing aids. However similarly to hearing in noise, there are other factors that determine your hearing aid success (see above).

I Can Buy Hearing Aids Online/In Store

Hearing loss is a medical condition that should be treated by a professional. What you see online or on TV are usually amplifiers advertised with some catchy phrases and empty promises. These devices are not typically programmed to your hearing loss and do not have the capability to navigate challenging situations such as background noise. They also typically do not fit properly in your ears. Each individual patient has unique hearing levels, needs, and lifestyles, so a hearing aid should be personalized! Audiologists have years of training and experience to help with your selection and follow-up care for maintenance and fine tuning. It is also important to keep in mind there is the potential risk of damaging hearing further with over-amplification.   

The Riddle Experience

The audiologists and Riddle Hospital share the same goals that you do – to improve hearing and understanding even in your most difficult environments. A comprehensive audiologic evaluation followed by a listening needs assessment and live hearing aid demonstration will allow the audiologist to make the best recommendations for a hearing treatment plan tailored to your individual hearing needs.

Jessica M. Bell, Director/Doctor of Audiology

Alexa R. Lynch, Doctor of Audiology

Lisa C. Mackenzie, M.S., Clinical Audiologist

For an appointment with a Riddle Hospital Audiologist, call 484.227.3200 or visit