Chances are you rely on one hand to write, throw a ball and perform other manual tasks. Did you know that 90%of people are right-handed, and only about 1% are ambidextrous, meaning they’re able use either hand to the same degree?People use different hands for different tasks. Believe it or not, the same is true for your ears! You may have noticed that you seem to hear better or worse out of one ear over the other. Now, research is proving your suspicions to be true.
Recently, a team of researchers at UCLA studied the hearing capabilities of 3,000 newborns. They inserted tiny probes that gave out two different types of sounds into their ears and measured their otoacoustic emissions (OAE), which are amplified vibrations that leak out of the ear after a sound stimulates the cochlea.
The babies’ OAEs were measured using two different types of sounds: rapid clicks and sustained tones. Results showed that the right ear gives extra amplifications to sustained sounds such as those found in music, while the left ear performs this function for speech.
Common Myths and Misconceptions About Hearing Loss
This study, among others, helps us better understand hearing loss and how it may occur. Unfortunately, old thoughts and ideologies around hearing loss and hearing aids often hinderpeople’s perception of hearing loss today. Here are a few common misconceptions this scientific study has helped debunk:
Myth: “One of my ears isn’t great, but the other one is fine.”
Fact: In reality, you probably have hearing loss in both ears, with one just being slightly less impaired than the other. Over time, you compensate to use the better ear for things like phone calls and conversations in crowded rooms.
Myth: “Minor surgery will cure my hearing loss.”
Fact: Actually, only 5 to 10%of cases of hearing loss can be treated with surgery. Most other patients would benefit from hearing aids.
Myth: “Hearing aids won’t really help me hear.”
Fact: While hearing aids of the past may not have been that effective, hearing aids today have been found to help improve the lives of 9 out of 10 people who wear them.
Myth: “Hearing loss only happens to old people.”
Fact: Only 35% of Americans with hearing loss are over 64. One million school-age children have hearing loss today, as do nearly six million men and women between ages 18 and 44.
Myth: “If I have hearing loss, my doctor would have told me.”
Fact: Only 15% of doctors conduct hearing tests as part of standard physical exams. Consult with a hearing professional who is specially trained intesting and identifying hearing loss and its diagnosis. The hearing care professionals at Miracle-Ear have over 1,200 offices nationwide and offer free hearing tests. Check your local area for a location near you.
Myth: “Nothing will help my hearing loss.”
Fact: While this might have been true years ago, it is not the case anymore. Today, nearly 95% of people with hearing loss in one ear, high-frequency deficits or auditory nerve damage can receive positive results with the help of hearing aids.
While hearing loss can have a detrimental effect on both your personal and professional life, technological advancements are making hearing solutions even more effective and convenient. Thanks to innovations in hearing aid technology, hearing loss is becoming more manageable every day.