At times, it seems as if we enjoy to deceive ourselves. Wikipedia has an article called “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 references to credible sources.
For example, 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 just assume to be accurate, but now and then, it’s a good idea to reexamine what we think we know.
For some of us, it’s time to reassess what we think we know about hearing aids. Almost all myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are based on the problems linked with the older analog hearing aid models. But since most hearing aids are now digital, those issues 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 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 start with, hearing aids have been demonstrated to be to be effective. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association comparing the performance of three popular 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 publishing 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 competent professional.
Bad experiences are probably the result of buying 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 rather easy to disprove. Just perform a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll discover a variety of examples of stylish and colorful models from several producers.
Additionally, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are virtually or fully unseen when worn. The newer, stylish designs, however, convince some patients to choose the somewhat 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.”
As with television sets, hearing aids range in cost according to functionality and features. While you may not want — or need — the top of the line hearing aids, you can without doubt find a pair that fits your needs, preferences, and finances. Also be mindful that, as is the situation with all consumer electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable from year to year, and that the value of better hearing and a better life is usually 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 created by this myth. Like we said before, hearing aids have been proven to be effective, but the one caution to that statement 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 customized according to the unique characteristics of your vision loss. Buying hearing aids is no different.
Yes, visiting a hearing specialist is more expensive, but take into account what you get for the price: you can be sure that you get the right hearing aid with the right fitting and settings, in addition to follow-up care, adjustments, cleanings, instructions, repair services, and more. It’s well worth it.
Myth # 5: Hearing aids are uncomfortable and complicated to operate.
Reality: If this pertains to analog hearing aids, then yes, it is generally 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 worry about manual adjustments; in addition, 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 generate a custom mold for your hearing aids, providing a comfortable and proper fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will likely be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the curves of your ear.