Undiagnosed hearing loss causes about 37 people in the US to miss out on living a richer, more independent, and rewarding lifestyle. Out of almost 110 million Americans over the age of 50, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that nearly one-third of them are living with less than ideal hearing. The greatest tragedy, which causes me great concern, is the fact that many of the actual people behind those statistics live in the Pensacola Bay area and have access to top-quality hearing care.

What prevents people from getting help?

The reason many individuals over the age of 50 aren’t getting help comes from misunderstandings or myths about hearing loss and hearing assessments. By counting down the top four myths about hearing loss and responding with the fact, we hope to encourage our community members to take advantage of available hearing care.

MYTH #4: Hearing tests won’t tell me anything useful.

FACT: As sound processing deteriorates, your brain adapts and compensates. This takes place over an extended amount of time, making it impossible to recognize that you’re losing your hearing. Hearing tests provide several benefits like:

  • An objective means to identify the cause and extent of your hearing loss.
  • Provide the data necessary to custom program hearing instruments.
  • Establish a baseline against which future changes can be measured.

During a hearing assessment, your audiologist can also educate you about preventative measures such as the damage caused by ototoxic medications or wearing hearing protection for certain activities.

MYTH #3: If I can’t hear, I just need to turn up the volume.

FACT: Although loudness is one of the problems related to hearing loss, the majority of issues are associated with hearing clarity. By turning up the volume, you only increase the intensity of the distortion. Common clarity issues include:

  • Difficulty hearing with background noise indicates a decreased ability to distinguish between far away and close up sounds.
  • Struggling to identify the difference between some consonants makes understanding conversations a significant challenge.
  • Phone conversations or talking with women and children become frustrating as your brain is no longer processes high-frequency sounds.

An audiologist can both identify and treat these issues, improving hearing clarity at normal volume levels.

MYTH #2: If I had trouble hearing, I’d be the first to know.

FACT: Have you ever seen grass grow? Though you can’t see it happening, you recognize when its time to cut the grass. Hearing loss is similar. It comes on at such a slow pace that you are unable to notice the changes until it becomes a problem. Consequently, family and friends usually identify the problem before the person struggling with hearing loss.

By seeking help from an audiologist, you get an objective point of view regarding whether or not you’re losing your hearing. With a hearing assessment, we can identify and customize treatment to fit your unique needs.

MYTH #1: My hearing loss doesn’t bother anybody.

FACT: You are the person most harmed by hearing loss. The consequences of untreated hearing loss lead to mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and isolation. These issues are compounded as relationships at home and work become strained because of mood swings or a failure to communicate. Your risk of various physical health conditions also increases due to untreated hearing loss.

The good news is that early detection and treatment can allow you to live a more rewarding and independent lifestyle without skipping a beat.

The Hearing Center MCC Recommends Frequent Hearing Tests

If you are over the age of fifty, it is best to schedule a hearing assessment even if you don’t believe you are experiencing hearing loss. The Hearing Center MCC recommends that the Pensacola Bay community residents schedule regular screenings to help identify and treat a hearing loss before it becomes a major issue. 

If you or a loved one has been struggling, contact us to schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment or call us at 850.474.8328 to address any questions or concerns you might have.

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Jennifer LaBorde Au.D., CCC-A

Jennifer LaBorde Au.D., CCC-A

Dr. Jennifer LaBorde is an audiologist who has been in practice since 1999. She has a Masters in Communication Disorders from University of South Alabama, Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Disorders from the University of Mississippi, and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology.
    I enjoy my life much more with my hearing back intact

     

    The first time I noticed signs of a hearing loss was back when I was with the Memphis Police Force on the first anti-sniper unit (SWAT) team. Shooting many rounds of guns a week led to ringing in my ears, which it seemed was the start of my hearing loss.
    The Hearing Center is the very best in the business. They were the most helpful in the profession that I had seen.
    Since getting my hearing aids, I have no regrets. I enjoy my life much more with my hearing back intact.
    If you are considering using The Hearing Center, expect to be impressed by the best in the hearing aid business. It’s wonderful to hear well again and I can’t thank them enough.
    Bobby Bridges

     

    I was very impressed. The people were friendly and knowledgable.

     

    I first noticed my hearing loss when I was having to ask people to repeat themselves a lot. I decided to get my first hearing test and I was very impressed with the service from The Hearing Center. The people were friendly and knowledgeable.
    Now, I would not be able to cope without my hearing aids. I can now carry a conversation.
    I can highly recommend seeking help from The Hearing Center if you are struggling with a hearing loss.
    Edward Cohen

     

    I can hear my kids playing, I feel less tired, and I have more energy!

    My hearing loss started when I was just 10 years old as a result of multiple ear infections. I was really struggling to hear, and as a result, I had to have a lot of ear construction to save my hearing. I was told that I would never be able to hear certain tones again.
    For many years, I was living in a world of isolation and I believed that there was no way that I would get all of my hearing back. I had an opinion that hearing aids were for older people.
    When I first approached The Hearing Center, everyone was very warm and welcoming, and it did not matter how many questions I had. They answered them and were very patient with me.
    They fitted me with hearing aids and the results have been life-changing. I can hear my children. They can no longer come up behind me and scare me! I feel less tired, I have more energy, and as a result, I am losing weight.
    Getting help with my hearing from The Hearing Center was the best thing I ever did!
    Natasha Hastings

    The Hearing Center truly cares about helping me.

     

     

    I have visited many different hearing care providers over the years but none compare to the level of care I have received from Dr. LaBorde and the staff at The Hearing Center.
    I can honestly say they have changed my life by helping me to regain hearing clarity. I highly recommend them.
    Robert Sullivan