Hearing loss is no exception. The charity, Age UK, reports that over 40 percent of people living in the UK over age 50 have some form of hearing loss. This is no small demographic, and unfortunately, it’s one that tends to believe myths about hearing loss.
Over the years, inaccurate things about hearing loss are heard, overheard, read and often assumed. Left unchecked, these everyday myths about hearing loss can lead to people living their lives with an often serious hearing challenge, which can seriously impact other areas of life, including mental and emotional well being.
Here are five myths people who are 50+ believe about hearing loss:
Yes, hearing loss can be part of the natural aging process. Even if it is, there really is no logical reason for ignoring it. Early intervention can be instrumental in getting you back into the mainstream of life, the quality of which will have already deteriorated due to the loss. In order for you to notice the hearing loss in the first place, you likely feel uncomfortable or challenged in some way. Take this as an incentive to make an appointment or take an online hearing test. Knowledge defeats ignorance every time. Hearing loss cannot be miraculously restored, but hearing aids can help compensate.
This is a cruel myth because the truth of the matter often leads people to cancel appointments and give up using their hearing aids. Hearing aids won’t fully restore your hearing. Nothing can. What they can and will do is compensate for that loss in a different way. Wearing hearing aids allow you to experience those missing sounds in a new way. It isn’t about full hearing restoration; it is a new way to experience those sounds.
This idea is so outdated that it’s laughable. We now live in a microtechnology age, the age of miniaturization. Most modern hearing aids are so small, they go unnoticed most of the time. People rarely study other people’s ears. Faces and eyes draw more attention. People of all ages wear aids and many are now proud to do so. The shame and stigma are almost nonexistent.
Read more: NEWSFLASH: Hearing aids ARE cool!
Nothing could be further from the truth than this old outdated idea. When medical advice is sought as soon as possible, there is a high chance of a better outcome.Undiagnosed hearing loss has been linked to people feeling isolated and withdrawing from family, friends, and society. It has also been linked to mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s. It also takes time to get used to wearing hearing aids and the sooner you begin, the better and easier it will be for you.
Read more: Are hearing loss and dementia linked?
This can be a particularly damaging assumption. As mentioned above, the loss of hearing can and often does have an effect on other things. When you struggle to hear conversations and often miss the punch line of jokes, it can be easier not to go to social functions. It can be so easy to decide that you prefer your own company and assume that people tend to do this once they reach their fifties. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior will often lead to emotional upset and can lead to depression.
If you have some form of hearing loss — diagnosed or not — doesn’t it make sense to do something about it, especially that now you’re armed with a handful of myth-busting facts?
Read more: Why you’re never too old to try hearing aids
It might be that you have a hearing aid or two sitting snugly at the back of a drawer or you may have only recently noticed a difference in the quality of your hearing. At whatever place or stage you are right now, make your mind up to go and do something about it. That one first step could be an open door back to your old life.
What myths have you heard about hearing loss?