At times, it seems as if we love to deceive ourselves. Wikipedia has an entry called “List of common misconceptions” that includes hundreds of widely-held but false beliefs. Yes, I know it’s Wikipedia, but take a look at the bottom of the page and you’ll notice approximately 385 credible sources cited.
As an example, did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb? Or that sugar does not actually make kids hyperactive? There are myriad examples of beliefs that we simply assume to be true, but once in a while, it’s a good idea to reevaluate what we think we know.
For a number of of us, it’s time to reevaluate what we think we know about hearing aids. Virtually all myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are founded on the issues linked with the outdated analog hearing aid models.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? Read below to see if any of the top 5 myths are preventing 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: To begin with, hearing aids have been demonstrated to be to be highly effective. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association comparing the performance 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.
Additionally, since the publication of this study, 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 trained professional.
Negative experiences are probably the result of receiving the wrong hearing aid, buying hearing aids online, contacting the wrong individual, or not having the hearing aids personalized and professionally programmed.
Myth # 2: Hearing aids are big, cumbersome, and unattractive.
Reality: This one is relatively easy to disprove. Just perform a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll see a number of examples of sleek and colorful models from multiple manufacturers.
Also, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are nearly or entirely invisible when worn. The newer, attractive designs, however, persuade some patients to go with the slightly bigger hearing aid models to display 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.”
As with 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 suits your needs, preferences, and budget. Also be mindful that, as is the situation with all electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable each year, and that the value of healthier hearing and a better life is usually well worth the cost.
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 most likely caused 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 buy a pair of prescription glasses on the internet without consulting your eye doctor because your glasses need to be personalized 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 consider what you receive 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 makes reference to analog hearing aids, then yes, it is largely true. The thing is, virtually all hearing aids are now digital.
Digital hearing aids dynamically process sound with a mini computer chip so that you don’t have to be concerned about manual adjustments; additionally, some digital hearing aids can even be controlled through your smartphone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being developed with maximum ease-of-use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also produce a custom mold for your hearing aids, providing a comfortable and correct fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will most likely be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the contours of your ear.