Myths and Facts on Hearing Loss

Hany Ghonaim

Written by Laura Abdulnour


Unilateral Hearing Loss

Even though it affects in average 40% of Canadians, hearing loss remains an unknown impairment. Let’s demystify some myths that surround it. 

Myth : Hearing loss only affects older people 

Reality: Results from 2012 to 2015 Canadian Health Measures Survey indicate that hearing loss affects approximately 40% of Canadians aged 20 to 79 years old. While it does affect 78% of 60- to 79-year-olds, 40% of 40- to 59-year-olds and 15% of 20- to 39-year-olds are also affected. Moreover, 8% of children and youth aged 6 to 19 years old have a hearing impairment. Hearing loss affects people of all ages.  

Myth : If I had a hearing loss, I would know. 

Reality: The Canadian Health Measures Survey reveals that most Canadians, with a measured hearing loss, weren’t aware they had a hearing problem. Seventy-seven percent of adults, 95% of children aged 6 to 11, and 86% of youth aged 12 to 19 did not report a diagnosis of hearing problem. This means you can have hearing loss without knowing it. You can verify your hearing by booking an appointment with an audiologist. 

Myth : My hearing loss doesn’t affect my health.

Reality: More and more studies link untreated hearing loss to an increased risk of dementia with age. Untreated hearing loss is also associated with increased stress, fatigue, and social isolation 

Myth : Hearing loss is inevitable with age.

Reality: With good hearing precaution habits, a lot of hearing damage can be prevented. 

Myth: Hearing aids are only for profound deafness.

Reality: Hearing aids are worn and are beneficial for a wide range of severities of hearing impairment. Consult an audiologist to know if hearing aids can be a good solution for you.  

Myth: Hearing aids give hearing back like glasses give vision back.

Reality: When you wear glasses for the first time, your vision is immediately restored. The same doesn’t happen the first time you wear hearing aids. A certain habituation period is necessary before fully benefiting from the hearing aid. The brain must relearn to hear sounds that haven’t been heard in years.   

Myth: Hiding my hearing loss makes me appear less old than wearing hearing aids.

Reality: When you constantly make people repeat what they said, answer completely off the mark, or don’t react at all when spoken to (because you didn’t hear), people may come to question your cognitive state, which makes you look older than simply wearing hearing aids. Besides, every year, hearing aid companies are coming up with smaller, thinner, and more discreet aid models. 

Myth: My hearing loss only affects me.

Reality: Hearing impairment affects communication and communication is done between people, not alone. Your friends and family are also affected by your hearing loss. Indeed, it can be exhausting for your loved ones to always repeat, not get understood, and not be able to effectively communicate with you. An American survey found that 54% of people who had communicated with a hearing-impaired person felt frustrated or annoyed by the exchange, 18% percent reported feeling ignored and 23% felt sad. 

Do you have questions about hearing loss? Feel free to contact an ODYO’s team professional! 

Don’t forget to share this post!