Sometimes, it seems as if we prefer to deceive ourselves. Wikipedia has an page called “List of common misconceptions” that includes hundreds of widely-held but false beliefs. Yes, I understand 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 in reality make kids hyperactive? There are a multitude of examples of beliefs that we simply 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 reassess what we think we know about hearing aids. The majority of myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are based on the issues linked with the older analog hearing aid models. But considering that most 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: First of all, hearing aids have been proven 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 concluded 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 investigation, hearing aid technology has continued to improve. So the question is not whether hearing aids perform well — the question is whether you have the right hearing aid for your hearing loss, professionally programmed based on to your preferences by a skilled 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 customized and professionally programmed.
Myth # 2: Hearing aids are big, cumbersome, and unsightly.
Reality: This one is relatively easy to disprove. Simply perform a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll see quite a few examples of sleek and colorful models from multiple producers.
Also, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are nearly or completely invisible when worn. The newer, stylish designs, however, compel some patients to go with the somewhat larger hearing aid models to display 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.”
As with television sets, hearing aids vary in cost depending on functionality and features. While you may not want — or need — the top of the line hearing aids, you can in all likelihood find a pair that meets your needs, preferences, and finances. Also consider that, as is the case with all consumer electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable from year to 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 probably caused 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 individualized according to the unique attributes of your vision loss. Buying hearing aids is exactly the same.
Yes, visiting a hearing specialist is more costly, but consider what you get for the price: you can be certain that you get the right hearing aid with the right fitting and settings, combined with 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 generally true. The thing is, virtually all hearing aids are now digital.
Digital hearing aids dynamically process sound with a miniature computer chip so that you don’t have to worry about manual adjustments; additionally, some digital hearing aids can even be controlled through your smart phone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being produced with optimum ease-of-use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also produce a custom mold for your hearing aids, ensuring a comfortable and ideal 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.