You may not realize it but you could be exposing yourself to startling misinformation about tinnitus and other hearing problems. The Hearing Journal has recently published research supporting this. Allot more people suffer from tinnitus than you may recognize. Out of every 5 Us citizens one suffers from tinnitus, so it’s important to make certain people have reliable, accurate information. The internet and social media, unfortunately, are full of this type of misinformation according to new research.
How Can You Find Information About Tinnitus on Social Media?
If you’re researching tinnitus, or you have joined a tinnitus support group online, you aren’t alone. A good place to build a community is on social media. But making sure information is displayed truthfully is not very well moderated. According to one study:
- There is misinformation in 30% of YouTube videos
- Misinformation is contained in 44% of public facebook pages
- Out of all Twitter accounts, 34% had what was classified as misinformation
For people diagnosed with tinnitus, this quantity of misinformation can present a daunting challenge: Checking facts can be time-consuming and too much of the misinformation presented is, frankly, enticing. We want to believe it’s true.
Tinnitus, What is it?
Tinnitus is a common medical condition in which the person suffering hears a buzzing or ringing in one’s ears. If this buzzing or ringing persists for longer than six months, it is known as chronic tinnitus.
Prevailing Misinformation Concerning Tinnitus and Hearing Loss
The internet and social media, of course, did not create many of these myths and mistruths. But they do make spreading misinformation easier. You should always discuss questions you have about your tinnitus with a reputable hearing specialist.
Debunking some examples may demonstrate why this misinformation spreads and how it can be challenged:
- There is a cure for tinnitus: One of the more common types of misinformation exploits the hopes of those who have tinnitus. There is no “miracle pill” cure for tinnitus. There are, however, treatments that can help you maintain a high standard of life and effectively organize your symptoms.
- Changes in diet will improve your hearing: It’s true that your tinnitus can be exacerbated by some lifestyle changes ((for instance, having anything with caffeine can make it worse for many people). And the symptoms can be lessened by eating some foods. But there is no diet or lifestyle change that will “cure” tinnitus for good.
- Tinnitus is caused only by loud noises: The precise causes of tinnitus are not really perfectly known or documented. Lots of people, it’s true, have tinnitus as a direct outcome of trauma to the ears, the results of particularly harsh or long-term loud noises. But traumatic brain damage, genetics, and other factors can also lead to the development of tinnitus.
- Hearing aids can’t help with tinnitus: Because tinnitus is experienced as a select kind of buzzing or ringing in the ears, lots of people presume that hearing aids won’t be helpful. Your tinnitus can be effectively managed by modern hearing aids.
- You will go deaf if you have tinnitus, and if you are deaf you already have tinnitus: The connection between loss of hearing and tinnitus does exist but it’s not universal. Tinnitus can be triggered by certain ailments which leave overall hearing intact.
Accurate Information Concerning Your Hearing Loss is Available
Stopping the spread of misinformation is incredibly important, both for new tinnitus sufferers and for people who are already well acquainted with the symptoms. To protect themselves from misinformation there are a few steps that people can take.
- If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Any website or social media post that claims to have knowledge of a miracle cure is almost certainly nothing but misinformation.
- A hearing expert or medical consultant should be consulted. If you want to determine if the information is reliable, and you’ve tried everything else, talk to a respected hearing professional.
- Look for sources: Try to find out where your information is coming from. Was the information written by or sourced from hearing specialists or medical experts? Is this information documented by dependable sources?
Something both profound and simple was once said by astrophysicist Carl Sagan: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” acute critical thinking skills are your strongest defense against alarming misinformation about tinnitus and other hearing Concerns at least until social media platforms more rigorously distinguish information from misinformation
Schedule an appointment with a hearing care expert if you’ve read some information you are not sure of.