Latest posts by Dr. Chris Lawson (see all)
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There have been tremendous advancements by hearing aid manufacturers incorporating technology into smaller and more powerful models. There has also been cutting edge research done on hearing loss and why and how it occurs. At Evergreen Audiology, we pride ourselves on being a state-of-the-art practice with the patience and compassion to give individual the “personal touch.” Call today for a hearing evaluation and we will take as much time as needed to answer your questions and help dispel the myths and misconceptions around hearing loss.
For us, each one of our clients is unique, so we tailor treatment plans for hearing loss to your specific needs. Here are some common misconceptions and the truth about some of the issues surrounding hearing loss.
Fiction: Hearing Loss Doesn’t Affect Many People
Hearing loss, which does occur many times as we age, affects 48 million Americans or about 20% of the population.
Fiction: Only the Elderly Have Hearing Loss
This is a widely believed misconception. About 40% of Americans with hearing loss are under the age of 60. As you age you are likely to experience hearing loss. Almost 30% of those between ages 50 and 59 suffer from some degree of hearing impairment in one or both ears; 45% of people between 60 and 69 have impaired hearing and three-quarters of those older than 70 do.
Fiction: Sign Language is the Best Way to Communicate with the Hearing Impaired
Not everyone with hearing loss uses or understands sign language. Many people who experience hearing loss gradually over time, don’t even recognize that they have a communication issue.
People with hearing loss use a variety of ways to help with communication including lip reading, hearing aids and paying attention to facial expression.
Fiction: Everyone with Hearing Loss Uses Hearing Aids
Some people with hearing loss choose not to, for a variety of reasons, from personal aesthetics to financial challenges. Only about one in five individuals with hearing loss chose to get hearing aids and that’s a sad fact that we try to change every day at Evergreen Audiology Clinic. You miss so much when you lose one of your vital senses!
Fiction: Your Hearing Loss was Caused by Rock Concerts
Well, they certainly didn’t help your hearing – but there are likely other contributors. Hearing loss can be part of normal aging, genetics, medications, smoking, poor nutrition and diabetes. All of these things destroy tiny hair cells in the inner ear that are vital to sending auditory signals to your brain. Once the cells are damaged, they stay damaged. You may not notice the damage right away because the existing hair cells are enough to compensate. As the damage continues, you gradually lose more of your hearing.
Fiction: If You Can Hear Some Sounds – You Should Wait
Studies done on brain imaging show part of the brain actually starts to shrink because there is a lack of auditory stimulation. Your brain stops recognizing some sounds. So, people who wait to get hearing aids sometimes discover that the new hearing aids don’t help as much as they thought they would. It is fortunate, however, that our brain can “relearn” how to hear. Recent studies show the brain can reprogram itself even into very old age with the proper stimulation so you can teach your brain to hear again by wearing your hearing aids. The longer you wait to schedule an evaluation at Evergreen Audiology Clinic, the harder your hearing loss will be to treat.
Fiction: Hearing Loss is Frustrating, But It’s Not Damaging
Research from Johns Hopkins University shows that untreated hearing loss actually can be damaging to your overall health. Untreated hearing loss puts you at risk for developing dementia due to the strain it puts on your brain. Hearing aids have been shown to improve a wearer’s general quality of life. It improves memory and mood and even can lead to better sleeping patterns. Falling is a problem with seniors and hearing aids improve your balance. Studies show if you are concentrating on hearing instead of your surroundings, falling becomes an issue.
Fiction: I Can’t Handle All that Technology
It’s true there is a lot of new, sophisticated hearing technology out there. And, fortunately, many advancements in hearing aid technology have made them more user friendly! If you have dexterity issues, the new hearing aids are digital and just have to be put on a charger – no changing batteries. They can be programmed using a device that looks like a small remote control – easily managed. Our team here at Evergreen Audiology can help with whatever you need.
When it comes to hearing loss, there’s no good excuse to put off seeking treatment. Contact us today at Evergreen Audiology Clinic today for an appointment!