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Hearing Loss: Separating Facts from Fiction

Myth Exposed:  The most common cause of hearing loss is age.

Truth is, exposure to loud noise is the No. 1 cause of hearing loss, while only 35% of people with hearing loss are older than age 64. There are nearly 6 million people in the US between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss, and more than 1 million are school age. Hearing loss affects all age groups. Hereditary factors and health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other circulatory problems also cause hearing loss along with certain medications such as aspirin, some antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs. 

Myth Exposed: Only people with serious hearing loss need hearing devices.

The need for hearing aids depends on your lifestyle, your degree of hearing loss and your need for a more sophisticated level of hearing. If you are a teacher or a lawyer, for example, refined hearing is necessary to understand the nuances of communication. Therefore, you may not be able to tolerate even a mild level of hearing loss. On the other hand, if you live alone or in a rural area and seldom socialize, then your tolerance level for moderate hearing loss may be higher.

Myth Exposed:  If I had a hearing loss, my family doctor would have told me.

Incorrect, reports the Better Hearing Institute. Their studies show that only 14% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical.

Myth Exposed: Hearing devices will make me look “older.”

It is not the hearing devices that make one look older—it is the fact that you cannot hear, understand and communicate normally with others that makes you look older.

Myth Exposed: Hearing devices aren’t worth the cost.

Research conducted by the Better Hearing Institute concluded that 9 out of 10 people indicate that the quality of their life has improved with hearing devices. Overall satisfaction with 1-year-old hearing devices is now 78%, which is close to satisfaction ratings for most consumer electronics.

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