This week we’re covering Part 1 of some common myths about hearing aids and hearing loss. Strap on your helmet and let’s dive into a first round of solid “mythbusting”.
1. Cleaning my ears with cotton swabs is good for my hearing and will not encourage hearing loss.
Most still hear the voice of their moms telling us to clean our ears with a cotton swab. This can do more harm than good, since there is a risk of the eardrum getting damaged. Contrary to common belief, ear wax actually has a beneficial function: it contains beneficial oils that lubricate and protect the skin of the ear canal. It also traps dust and other particles and keeps them from reaching the sensitive eardrum. If you feel that you have excessive earwax to the point that it affects your hearing, we recommend you to visit a doctor.
2. Hearing loss affects everyone equally.
Men are more likely to exhibit hearing loss than women, making up 60% of all hearing impaired. While there are multiple factors, it is often attributed to more exposure to stress, an increased likelihood of noise at work, higher incidence of head injuries. Studies have also shown that African Americans are 20% less likely to suffer from hearing loss than whites.
3. Hearing loss affects only older people.
While one third of the people over 60 have a hearing loss, there are close to six million people in the US between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss. In fact, 65% of all people with hearing loss are below 64 years of age.
4. The implications of wearing a hearing aid for hearing loss are worse than not having one.
Not following the key part of a discussion, or not being able to laugh at joke for the nth time or having the “what?” and “huh?” as part of your standard vocabulary, make an untreated hearing loss far more apparent than a hearing aid. Isolation and a dent on your self-esteem are only the mild implications; studies have shown that there is a clear correlation between untreated hearing loss and dementia and/or depression. Don’t let vanity get in the way; there are people with far more limelight exposure who have acknowledged and treated their hearing problems.
5. Who cares if I have Hearing Loss– Hearing Aids are massive, bulky and clearly visible!
They used to be – a long while ago. Nowadays, hearing aids can be as tiny as a dime and fit almost invisibly behind the ear or in the ear canal. In fact, you probably haven’t noticed the vast majority of people who wear modern hearing aids.
We will cover the remaining 5 points next week, in Part 2. In the meantime, if you have your own “mythbusters” that you would like to share, feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to feature them in our next installment!