At times, it seems as if we enjoy to mislead ourselves. Wikipedia has an article named “List of common misconceptions” that contains 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 see approximately 385 references to credible sources.
For 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 just assume to be correct, but now and then, it’s a good idea to reexamine what we think we know.
For a number of of us, it’s time to reevaluate what we think we know about hearing aids. Most myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are founded on the issues linked with the older analog hearing aid models. But seeing as 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 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 effective. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association comparing the effectiveness of three common 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.
Moreover, since the publishing of this research, 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.
Bad experiences are likely the result of purchasing the wrong hearing aid, buying hearing aids online, consulting 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 rather easy to disprove. Just perform a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll see several examples of sleek and colorful models from numerous producers.
Also, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are virtually or entirely invisible when worn. The newer, stylish designs, however, persuade some patients to choose the somewhat bigger hearing aid models to show off the technology.
Myth # 3: Hearing aids are too expensive.
Reality: Presently, 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.”
Just like television sets, hearing aids vary in price based on functionality and features. While you may not want — or need — the top of the line hearing aids, you can more than likely find a pair that meets your needs, preferences, and finances. Also take into account that, as is the situation with all electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable from year to year, and that the value of better 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 asserted that hearing aids are not effective? Well, it was most likely triggered by this myth. Like we said 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 assure performance.
You wouldn’t dare purchase a pair of prescription glasses on the internet without contacting your eye doctor because your glasses need to be custom-made according to the unique attributes of your vision loss. Buying hearing aids is no different.
Yes, visiting a hearing specialist is more expensive, but consider 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 well 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 largely true. The thing is, practically all hearing aids are now digital.
Digital hearing aids dynamically process sound with a small computer chip so that you don’t have to worry about manual adjustments; additionally, some digital hearing aids can even be operated through your mobile phone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being produced with maximum ease-of-use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also create a custom mold for your hearing aids, ensuring a comfortable and suitable fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will likely be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the shape of your ear.