You could be opening yourself to shocking misinformation about tinnitus or other hearing issues without ever recognizing it. This based on recent research published in The Hearing Journal. Tinnitus is remarkably common. Out of every 5 Americans one suffers from tinnitus, so making sure people have access to correct, reliable information is important. The internet and social media, unfortunately, are full of this sort of misinformation according to new research.
Finding Information About Tinnitus on Social Media
You aren’t alone if you are searching for others with tinnitus. Social media is a very good place to build community. But making sure information is displayed accurately is not well regulated. According to one study:
- Out of all Twitter accounts, 34% contained what was classified as misinformation
- There is misinformation in 30% of YouTube videos
- 44% of public Facebook groups included misinformation
For individuals diagnosed with tinnitus, this amount of misinformation can present a difficult obstacle: The misinformation presented is frequently enticing and checking facts can be time consuming. We simply want to believe it.
Tinnitus, What is it?
Tinnitus is a common medical condition in which the person suffering hears a buzzing or ringing in one’s ears. When this buzzing or ringing continues for longer than six months, it is called chronic tinnitus.
Common Misinformation Concerning Tinnitus and Hearing Loss
Many of these myths and mistruths, obviously, are not invented by social media and the internet. But they do make spreading misinformation easier. You should always go over questions you have about your tinnitus with a reputable hearing specialist.
Debunking some examples might demonstrate why this misinformation spreads and how it can be challenged:
- Tinnitus is triggered only by loud noises: It’s really known and documented what the causes of tinnitus are. Many people, it’s true, suffer tinnitus as an immediate result 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.
- Your hearing can be restored by dietary changes: It’s true that your tinnitus can be exacerbated by certain lifestyle changes ((for instance, having anything that has caffeine can make it worse for many people). And there may be some foods that can temporarily diminish symptoms. But there is no diet or lifestyle change that will “cure” tinnitus for good.
- There is a cure for tinnitus: The desires of individuals with tinnitus are exploited by the most common types of this misinformation. There is no “miracle pill” cure for tinnitus. You can, however, successfully manage your symptoms and retain a high quality of life with treatment.
- Hearing aids won’t help with tinnitus: Because tinnitus is experienced as a certain kind of buzzing or ringing in the ears, lots of people believe that hearing aids won’t be helpful. Your tinnitus can be successfully managed by today’s hearing aids.
- If you’re deaf, you have tinnitus and if you have tinnitus, you will go deaf: The link between hearing loss and tinnitus does exist but it’s not universal. Tinnitus can be caused by certain ailments which leave overall hearing intact.
How to Uncover Truthful Facts About Your Hearing Concerns
Stopping the spread of misinformation is extremely important, both for new tinnitus sufferers and for those who are already well acquainted with the symptoms. To shield themselves from misinformation there are several steps that people can take.
- A hearing specialist or medical consultant should be consulted. If you’ve tried everything else, run the information you’ve found by a respected hearing specialist (if possible one acquainted with your situation) to find out if there is any credibility to the claims.
- Look for sources: Try to learn what the sources of information are. Was the information written by or sourced from hearing specialists or medical experts? Do dependable sources document the information?
- If the information seems hard to believe, it probably isn’t true. Any website or social media post that claims to have knowledge of a miracle cure is almost certainly little more than misinformation.
Something both profound and simple was once said by astrophysicist Carl Sagan: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” acute critical thinking techniques are your best defense against alarming misinformation concerning tinnitus and other hearing Concerns at least until social media platforms more rigorously separate information from misinformation
set up an appointment with a hearing care professional if you’ve read some information you are not sure of.