Sometimes it’s related to cost, but other times it has to do with the stigma that hearing loss carries. People might associate hearing loss with getting old or don’t want to wear hearing aids because there are ugly.
There are a lot of misconceptions that people have about hearing loss. I think it’s important to be open about hearing loss and how it can affect people’s lives, both positively and negatively. Help break down the stigma of hearing loss!
Here are 10 misconceptions about hearing loss that you should know:
Sign Language is as diverse as spoken languages. Each country has one or more sign language, you may be surprised that there are about 130 different ones!
Some people with hearing loss use sign language, and others don’t! Although I wear hearing aids and communicate with speech and lip-reading, I’m also learning British Sign Language.
CAN YOU READ MY LIPS? from Little Moving Pictures on Vimeo.
Lip-reading is difficult, and not always accurate. Depending on how long someone has had hearing aids, or how well they can hear, some people lip read better than others. There are so many different lip-shapes and patterns, most of it is just guesswork. This is why Deaf people appreciate gestures, clues or signs to indicate the subject! It also doesn’t help lip-reading if people have accents, beards or moustaches!
I don’t know why people think this! Maybe because the only ‘deaf’ person they know of is their grandparents? Well, obviously this is a myth! I’m 19 and I’m profoundly deaf. Some people are born with a hearing loss, others lose it later in life. Hearing loss can affect people of all ages.
Due to concentration fatigue, people with hearing loss might not always have the energy to lip-read or focus on their hearing, especially if there’s background noise. If you feel like we’re ignoring you, perhaps we didn’t hear! In this case, get our attention before speaking as we might not have heard you!
Unlike glasses that can instantly correct your sight, people with hearing loss can’t just pop in a hearing aid and instantly hear! Depending on the level of someone’s hearing loss, hearing aids vary on power, and often need some fine tuning by the audiologist or hearing care professional to create the best listening features in each users’s technology. While hearing aids can make a big difference in one’s hearing ability, it’s not the same as someone with “normal” hearing.
Deafness is not always hereditary. Personally, nobody in my family is deaf. I’ll likely never know the cause of my deafness.
My boyfriend, on the other hand, contracted Meningitis when he was young and lost his hearing as a result.
I once heard somebody compare this misconception to the body being like a microphone. Have you ever heard anybody talk into a broken microphone? It would sound quite loud with plenty of distortion. What’s the point? No matter how loud you talk, if a person has severe enough hearing loss they won’t understand you. That’s what hearing aids are for; make sounds like voices sound clearer and limit sounds like background noise. If you talk louder, it just sounds like you’re shouting at us!
Currently, there is no “cure” for hearing loss, but there are studies and research around this topic. For some people with severe hearing loss, a cochlear implant surgery may help them hear better, but when it comes to repairing hearing loss through medication or non-implant surgery, it’s still an open topic. Maybe in the future there will be a new discovery, who knows?
Hearing aids no longer mean wearing big, bulgy, beige hearing aids! Hearing technology now comes in all shapes, sizes and colors! Some are classed as ‘invisible‘!
I used to have purple Phonak hearing aids, now I have turquoise Phonak Sky Q hearing aids, I think they look awesome!
If you know of any other misconceptions about hearing loss that wasn’t mentioned, or an experience with one – please share with us in the comments below!