Of the 48 million Americans with hearing loss, only one in five actually seeks treatment. Furthermore, even those who do seek treatment wait an average of seven years to do so. There are many myths about hearing loss and hearing aids that prevent people from getting the help they need. Below is an overview of the facts and fiction of hearing loss.
Fiction: There is no treatment for hearing loss.
In most cases, hearing loss is irreversible. However, this doesn’t mean it’s not treatable. Hearing aids work by amplifying sounds to a level the ear can detect and are by far the most recommended and effective treatment for hearing loss. It is estimated that 90-95 percent of people with mild to severe hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids.
Fiction: My doctor would tell me if I had hearing loss.
Even if you get a physical every year, you may not have had a hearing screening. Most primary care physicians don’t have time to test for hearing loss; in fact, one study found that only 23 percent of adults have had a hearing screening during a physical exam. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have begun instructing PCPs about the importance of hearing screenings and referring to hearing specialists; however, if you experience hearing difficulty it is important to take initiative and speak up during your appointment.
Fiction: Hearing aids are a hassle.
The hearing aids of today are much different from the clunky models of yesteryear. Today’s hearing aids can distinguish speech from background noise, detect the direction of a sound source and automatically adjust sound settings based on your environment. Many are Bluetooth compatible and can be used as a wireless headset, and also can be controlled via smartphone apps.
Fiction: Hearing aids will make me look old.
People of all ages wear hearing aids, from infants to the elderly. Besides, hearing aids don’t stand out nearly as much as not being able to hear well and having to continually ask people to repeat themselves. If you are concerned about the appearance of hearing aids, rest assured that many of today’s devices are smaller, sleeker and more discreet than ever before. They are offered in a variety of colors and styles, and some are completely undetectable!
Call LeMay Hearing & Balance at (775) 323-5566 for more information or to schedule an appointment.