The Truth Behind 5 Common Hearing Loss Myths

One way to spot myths and superstitions is to see if there’s a scientific or some other foolproof explanation behind them. On the flipside, the same can be said for debunking myths, and you can be the judge of our attempt to debunk these common hearing loss myths.

5 of the Most Common Hearing Loss Myths

My older relatives will go deaf before me

While the incidence of hearing loss goes up with age, about 40% of Americans with hearing loss are younger than 60. Natural aging is not the only cause. Other contributors include life style choices, medications, genetics, diabetes, and more.

I passed my physical so my hearing must be alright

Unless you meant an NFL physical (they definitely check hearing in concussion protocol), hearing loss is not commonly discovered during a routine physical. In fact, only an estimated 14% to 60% of primary care practitioners screen for hearing. You are also likely to hear better in a quiet doctor’s office and with a clear-speaking doctor.

Why bother with hearing aids until you’re almost deaf?

It will be harder to treat if you wait. The brain can stop recognizing sounds from disuse if the auditory system stays idle for a long period of time. When you finally get a set of hearing aids, you might find that it doesn’t help much, at least until you’ve retaught your brain.

I can have a minor surgery to fix my hearing

You must have been thinking about your eyes, like having an outpatient cataract removal or other simple procedures. Unfortunately, only 5-10% of adult hearing loss can be treated with a medical or surgical procedure.

Hearing loss does not affect a person’s general health

This is one of the common hearing loss myths that could be true but only if you’re younger. A joint study by John Hopkins Hospital and the National Institute on Aging found a link between hearing loss and dementia in seniors. The researchers postulated that the highest risk of dementia was due to years of overwhelming the brain with the strain of trying to compensate for hearing loss.