Did you know that May is Better Hearing Month? Even though hearing loss is incredibly common, with nearly 50 million Americans suffering from some degree of impairment, there are still a number of incorrect myths surrounding the problem. In an attempt to set the record straight, here are six of the most prevalent misunderstandings regarding hearing loss.
Hearing Loss is a Natural Part of Growing Older
While it's true that the processes in your body start to break down as you get older, hearing loss isn't inevitable. In fact, with preventative measures, people who would have gone deaf in decades past are able to retain at least some portion of their hearing well into advanced age.
Your Family Doctor Can Diagnose Hearing Problems
Generally, your family physician should be able to tell you whether or not you're experiencing hearing problems, but that is usually the extent of their knowledge. In order to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment, you'll need to see a trained audiologist.
Hearing Specialists are Only Needed in Serious Cases
Some people hold off on seeing an audiologist because they don't believe their hearing loss is that pronounced. Unfortunately, waiting to see a specialist could make the problem harder to treat, or even impossible. As your hearing goes away, your brain loses its ability to process auditory information, so early intervention is key.
Only Old People Wearing Hearing Aids, Right?
There is a common misconception that only elderly people wear corrective devices. Believe it or not, more than 60% of the people with hearing loss are under the age of 65. So if they're taking a proactive approach to their hearing loss, they should be wearing hearing aids now.
Hearing Assistive Devices Are Too Expensive
Without question, some hearing loss solutions are very expensive. On average, you can expect to pay around $2,500 for a pair of hearing aids, and a cochlear implant procedure can cost tens of thousands of dollars. But those aren't the only devices out there. For a fraction of the cost, you can pick up a personal sound amplification program, or PSAP, from your local store with a price tag of only a few hundred dollars.
Insurance Will Cover Hearing Assistive Technology
Sadly, most insurance providers do not cover hearing issues. Even Medicaid and Medicare, government-issued insurance, don't cover hearing aids or assistive technology-related services. Increasingly, some insurers are starting to roll out hearing coverage options with their plans, but those are few and far between.
Given the prevalence of hearing loss, it's important to be properly educated about the issue, especially since early prevention is key. If you're concerned that you may be experiencing hearing problems, speak with a trained audiologist in your area as soon as possible and see what corrective measures you can take.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!