As professionals in the hearing health industry, we’re regularly faced with the misconception that hearing loss and vision loss are similar. While these conditions both involve the loss of one of our senses, they are otherwise markedly different, especially when it comes to the methods of treatment. Here are a few key differences between hearing and vision loss:
- Most eye problems are mechanical in nature, while most hearing problems are sensorineural. While this is somewhat an oversimplification, it is an important distinction to make. There is a big difference in the underlying causes of hearing and vision loss. Treating hearing loss can be challenging due to the relationship between the ears and the brain. However, treatment for vision loss is relatively straightforward, as long as the optic nerve is healthy.
- There is no cure for hearing loss. Modern medicine has discovered a method for restoring vision through laser technology. On the other hand, in 90 percent of hearing loss cases, the damage is irreversible.
- Eyeglasses won’t protect against vision loss. Glasses compensate for the muscles in your eyes so that they are working less. Over time, these muscle can weaken and your eyesight may deteriorate. On the other hand, your brain actually works harder when hearing aids are in use. Hearing aids work to stimulate the nerves in the ear which, in turn, sends more activity to the brain. This helps to preserve your hearing.
- There are differences in prevention. The number one cause of permanent hearing impairment is noise-induced hearing loss. This condition is entirely preventable through the responsible use of hearing protection. On the contrary, many of the leading causes of visual impairment are not preventable—including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts and refractive errors—and they are also treatable.
Hearing and vision impairments are two conditions that can be properly managed with the help of an expert. If you or a loved one is suffering from a loss of hearing, an audiologist can help. Commonly referred to as a “hearing aid doctor,” audiologists are experts in the diagnosis and management of hearing- and balance-related conditions. To schedule a consultation or to find the best hearing aids in American Fork, we welcome you to speak to our staff at 801-763-0724.