At times, it seems as if we prefer to deceive ourselves. Wikipedia has an entry titled “List of common misconceptions” that includes hundreds of universally-held but false beliefs. Yes, I know it’s Wikipedia, but take a look at the bottom of the webpage and you’ll notice around 385 credible sources cited.
For example, did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb? Or that sugar does not actually make kids hyperactive? There are a great number of examples of beliefs that we just assume to be correct, but every now and then, it’s a good idea to reassess what we think we know.
For many of us, it’s time to reexamine what we think we know about hearing aids. Many of the myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are based on the issues connected with the antiquated analog hearing aid models. But provided that the majority of hearing aids are now digital, those concerns 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 keeping 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: To begin with, hearing aids have been proven to be highly 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.
Additionally, since the publication of this research, hearing aid technology has continued to get better. 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 qualified professional.
Negative experiences are probably the result of receiving 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 particularly easy to disprove. Just do a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll discover several examples of stylish and colorful models from numerous manufacturers.
Also, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are nearly or entirely invisible when worn. The newer, stylish designs, however, convince some patients to choose the slightly bigger hearing aid models to display the technology.
Myth # 3: Hearing aids are too expensive.
Reality: Today, some flat screen television sets 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 price dependent 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 situation with all consumer electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable each year, and that the value of healthier hearing and a better life is almost always worthy of 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 triggered by this myth. Like we stated before, hearing aids have been proven to be effective, but the one caveat to that statement 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 think of what you receive for the price: you can be sure 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 well worth it.
Myth # 5: Hearing aids are uncomfortable and confusing to operate.
Reality: If this refers to analog hearing aids, then yes, it is mostly 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 worry about manual adjustments; additionally, some digital hearing aids can even be managed through your cellphone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being developed with optimum ease-of-use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also create a custom mold for your hearing aids, providing a comfortable and ideal fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will probably be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the curves of your ear.