There’s a lot of talk about fake news lately. But there’s always been fake news in tinnitus and hyperacusis world. It’s always been a bit of a treasure hunt trying to find tinnitus hyperacusis facts. Too many websites include not factual info. Unfortunately it’s gotten worse lately. Because bloggers are swerving into tinnitus hyperacusis blog content lanes. Even when they don’t know the science or the facts.
These bloggers build up an audience of people or subscribers who respect and trust their blog info and opinions. The bloggers have skills and experience related to their blog’s main content area. But they have no skills or experience in hearing health or T-H. That’s not stopping them. I’ve seen too many lately blogging about hearing health and T-H anyway.
One blog was on the best treatments for T. There is no “best” treatment. Some approaches work for some people, depending on their hearing and T severity. A few treatments were listed in the blog; other proven treatment approaches were left out. The blog didn’t mention that audiologists are the main care provider for people with T-H. If people want to know what current T-H treatments are, shouldn’t they be told about the hearing health professional who provides the treatments? Audiologists evaluate T, and go over treatment options best for each person’s individual needs.
Another blog talked about tinnitus maskers as treatment. Tinnitus masking therapy failed in the 1990s because it didn’t work; it hasn’t been used since. Back then, wearable sound therapy started off being called T maskers or combination devices. In 2018, they’re called combination hearing aids. They’re not maskers. They play different sound types depending on the manufacturer, but if a person with T turns the volume up loud enough to mask or cover up their T, it’s too loud for effective treatment.
A blogger decided to cover noise damage to baby’s hearing. Who is putting their baby in such extreme noise that the baby is getting noise-induced hearing loss before they can even walk? Noise damage takes time, usually at least 5 years for people who work 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year in hazardous noise. The blogger talked about hearing tests, and frequencies higher than 70 dB. Frequencies are measured in Hz. Not dB. If the blogger doesn’t even know that, why are they blogging about noise damage in babies?
Another trend is bloggers scoffing at “so called” decreased sound tolerance (DST). They think it’s a made up term for sound tolerance disorders like hyperacusis and misophonia (including phonophobia). The general public don’t know how to say or spell hyperacusis, misophonia, or phonophobia. They don’t usually know what these disorders even are. Decreased sound tolerance is easier to understand, and covers all types of DST. It’s not “so called”. DST is the current professional umbrella term used by hearing health professionals.
Journalists and scientists say that if a blog or article is spelled right with nice pictures, people will believe it. It’s bad if people with T or H believe bloggers who have no knowledge or experience in noise damage, hearing health, T-H evaluation, or T-H treatment science.
In lists of the biggest mistakes bloggers can make, posting generic content is near the top. People are interested in specialized content. In my opinion, the worst mistake bloggers can make is to blog not factual content because they don’t know the specialty topic. I would never blog about vision health or cardiovascular health, including prevention, evaluation, or treatment. I’m mindful not to stray into the wellness blog topic lane either.
When it comes to hearing health, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and the lane to fake news is paved with good intentions. Please don’t blog about hearing health, T or DST if that’s not your background, skills, or experience. Stay out of the tinnitus hyperacusis blog content lanes. People need tinnitus hyperacusis facts. Spreading not factual info in blogs is very bad for our T-H community…and T-DST community.
Photo Credit wokandapix t pixabay
Jan L. Mayes MSc Aud(C) RAud is an international Eric Hoffer Award winning author, audiologist, and hearing healthcare educator. She specializes in tinnitus, hyperacusis, noise-induced hearing system damage, and darkly disturbing, macabre horror fiction.