At times, it seems like we love to deceive ourselves. Wikipedia has an page named “List of common misconceptions” that contains hundreds of universally-held but false beliefs. Yes, I know it’s Wikipedia, but take a look at the bottom of the web page and you’ll see around 385 credible sources cited.
For instance, did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb? Or that sugar does not in reality make kids hyperactive? There are a multitude of examples of beliefs that we simply assume to be correct, but once in a while, it’s a good idea to reassess what we think we know.
For many of us, it’s time to reassess what we think we know about hearing aids. Most myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are based on the problems connected with the older analog hearing aid models. But provided that most hearing aids are now digital, those problems are a thing of the past.
So how up-to-date is your hearing aid knowledge? Keep reading to see if any of the top 5 myths are preventing you or someone you know from obtaining 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 effectiveness of three popular styles 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.
On top of that, 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 in accordance to your preferences by a trained professional.
Negative experiences are most likely the result of acquiring the wrong hearing aid, purchasing hearing aids online, contacting the wrong individual, or not having the hearing aids personalized and professionally programmed.
Myth # 2: Hearing aids are big, bulky, and unattractive.
Reality: This one is rather easy to disprove. Simply do a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll see a number of examples of sleek and colorful models from several producers.
Also, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are virtually or completely invisible when worn. The newer, stylish designs, however, persuade some patients to choose the slightly larger hearing aid models to show-off the technology.
Myth # 3: Hearing aids are too expensive.
Reality: Presently, 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 range in cost depending on functionality and features. While you may not want — or need — the top of the line hearing aids, you can probably find a pair that fits your needs, preferences, and budget. Also take into account that, as is the scenario with all electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable every year, and that the value of better hearing and a better life is usually well worth the expense.
Myth # 4: You can save time and money buying hearing aids online.
Reality: Remember myth # 1 that maintained that hearing aids are not effective? Well, it was most likely created by this myth. Like we stated before, hearing aids have been proven to be effective, but the one caution to that assertion has always been that hearing aids have to be programmed by a professional to assure performance.
You wouldn’t dare buy a pair of prescription glasses online without contacting your eye doctor because your glasses need to be personalized according to the unique characteristics of your vision loss. Buying hearing aids is no different.
Yes, visiting a hearing specialist is more expensive, but think of what you get for the price: you can be confident that you get the right hearing aid with the right fitting and settings, as well as follow-up care, adjustments, cleanings, instructions, repair services, and more. It’s worth it.
Myth # 5: Hearing aids are uncomfortable and confusing to operate.
Reality: If this pertains to analog hearing aids, then yes, it is largely true. The thing is, almost 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 cellphone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being manufactured with maximum ease-of-use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also generate a custom mold for your hearing aids, ensuring a comfortable and appropriate fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will most likely be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the curves of your ear.