At times, it seems like we love to mislead ourselves. Wikipedia has an entry called “List of common misconceptions” that includes hundreds of widely-held but false beliefs. Yes, I understand it’s Wikipedia, but take a look at the bottom of the page and you’ll notice around 385 credible sources cited.
For instance, did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb? Or that sugar does not in fact make kids hyperactive? There are plenty of examples of beliefs that we just assume to be correct, but now and then, it’s a good idea to reassess what we think we know.
For a number of of us, it’s time to reexamine what we think we know about hearing aids. The majority of myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are founded on the issues linked with the antiquated analog hearing aid models. But considering that most hearing aids are now digital, those problems are a thing of the past.
So how current is your hearing aid knowledge? Read below to see if any of the top 5 myths are keeping you or someone you know from buying a hearing aid.
The Top 5 Myths About Hearing Aids
Myth # 1: Hearing aids are not effective because some people have had bad experiences.
Reality: First, hearing aids have been proven to be effective. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association comparing the performance of three common types of hearing aids determined that:
Each [hearing aid] circuit markedly improved speech recognition, with greater improvement observed for soft and conversationally loud speech….All 3 circuits significantly reduced the frequency of problems encountered in verbal communication….Each circuit provided significant benefit in quiet and noisy listening situations.
Additionally, since the release of this investigation, hearing aid technology has continued to improve. So the question is not whether hearing aids work — the question is whether you have the right hearing aid for your hearing loss, professionally programmed based on to your preferences by a knowledgeable professional.
Bad experiences are likely the result of purchasing the wrong hearing aid, purchasing hearing aids online, contacting the wrong individual, or not having the hearing aids customized and professionally programmed.
Myth # 2: Hearing aids are big, cumbersome, and unsightly.
Reality: This one is particularly easy to disprove. Simply perform a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll see several examples of stylish and colorful models from multiple producers.
Also, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are virtually or entirely hidden when worn. The newer, stylish designs, however, compel some patients to choose the slightly larger hearing aid models to display the technology.
Myth # 3: Hearing aids are too expensive.
Reality: Today, some flat screen televisions with ultra-high definition curved glass sell for $8,000 or more. But this doesn’t make us say that “all TVs are too expensive.”
Just like television sets, hearing aids vary in price depending on functionality and features. While you may not want — or need — the top of the line hearing aids, you can likely find a pair that meets your needs, preferences, and finances. Also remember that, as is the case with all electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable each year, and that the value of better hearing and a better life is almost always well worth the expense.
Myth # 4: You can save time and money buying hearing aids online.
Reality: Remember myth # 1 that alleged that hearing aids are not effective? Well, it was probably created by this myth. Like we stated before, hearing aids have been proven to be effective, but the one caveat to that assertion has always been that hearing aids have to be programmed by a professional to ensure performance.
You wouldn’t dare purchase a pair of prescription glasses on the internet without consulting your eye doctor because your glasses need to be custom-made according to the unique characteristics of your vision loss. Buying hearing aids is exactly the same.
Yes, visiting a hearing specialist is more expensive, but take into account what you receive for the price: you can be certain that you get the right hearing aid with the right fitting and settings, together with follow-up care, adjustments, cleanings, instructions, repair services, and more. It’s worth it.
Myth # 5: Hearing aids are uncomfortable and challenging to operate.
Reality: If this makes reference to analog hearing aids, then yes, it is mostly true. The thing is, nearly all hearing aids are now digital.
Digital hearing aids dynamically process sound with a compact computer chip so that you don’t have to be concerned about manual adjustments; in addition, some digital hearing aids can even be managed through your mobile phone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being developed with maximum ease-of-use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also establish a custom mold for your hearing aids, ensuring a comfortable and correct fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will very likely be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the curves of your ear.