When you think of hearing aids, what goes through your mind? Hearing aids are for old people? They’re big, clunky things that screech or whistle? Or maybe something like, “I’ll never need hearing aids!”? Many people have misconceptions about hearing devices and how prevalent hearing loss really is among all ages. Below we’ve put together some of the most common myths about hearing aids along with the facts about them.
Myth: Only old people wear hearing aids!
Fact: Contrary to popular belief, hearing loss isn’t restricted to the older population. Only 35% of people who have hearing loss are over the age of 64, and more and more young people are in need of treatment because of prolonged exposure to loud music and noise. About six million people between the ages of 18 and 44 have hearing loss.
Myth: Wearing hearing aids will make me stand out.
Fact: Feeling self-conscious is a normal feeling when something about your appearance changes, but you’ll be taking a step to be in control of your health, which you should be completely proud of! With the incredible advances in hearing aid technology today, there are a lot of options available that will work for your needs and comfort. There are even different color options available; why not personalize your hearing aid devices with your favorite color?
Myth: I only have difficulty hearing certain sounds. I can hear everything else just fine, so I don’t need hearing aids.
Fact: Being unable to hear certain sounds is still hearing loss, and it can significantly impact your daily life and conversations with people. Hearing loss often becomes worse over time, so getting a hearing evaluation done by a professional early on will give you a clear indication of your hearing range capabilities. Today’s digital hearing devices are advanced, allowing professionals to program them for your specific needs and bring sounds back into your hearing range. If you’re looking for a hearing professional in your area, check out this locator tool.
Myth: Hearing aids make horrible screeching sounds!
Fact: They used to, and it was horribly annoying! But really, today’s devices are so much more advanced than they used to be, and feedback cancellation is a common feature now. Be sure to ask your hearing care professional about feedback cancellation in hearing aids you’re considering.
Myth: Hearing aids are too expensive.
Fact: As mentioned above, today’s hearing aids have better technology and more features than they used to. They are also electronic devices that are an investment in your health. The investment in a better quality of life is worth it. Again, make sure that your hearing professional shows you a variety of hearing devices that will help with your needs. If your insurance won’t cover part of the cost, we offer discounts and other benefits (including annual hearing evaluations for family members) through employers and organizations. See if your employer or organization is on the list here; if it’s not, contact us!
Myth: Hearing devices are only for people who have severe hearing loss.
Fact: Nope! Hearing aids help with all degrees and ranges of hearing loss. The key is to ensure that you see a professional who can identify what your hearing needs are and provide you with solutions. Plus, it’s been proven that treating even minor hearing loss can increase your quality of life!
Myth: I can understand the general idea of conversations by watching people talk. I don’t need hearing aids just yet.
Fact: Ignoring your hearing difficulties or working around them not only makes you feel less in control, but the people around you can feel increasingly frustrated and unable to help. The best thing you can do for your hearing care is to take control of it and get a hearing evaluation done by a professional. It will give you peace of mind and a good sense of what your hearing range really is so you can explore solutions. Treating hearing conditions also helps overall quality of life and improves relationships with other people. Ask yourself this question: what do I gain by doing nothing about my hearing difficulties versus taking control of them? Afterward, you can get back to things like this:
Myth: Buying hearing aids online, by phone, or by mail order is a much cheaper, faster, and better option.
Fact: It may be faster and cheaper to buy hearing aids online, but it’s not better. A website can show a list of features and give you a button to click on to add the hearing aid to your cart, but can it explain how to program a hearing device to fit your exact needs? Can it repair your hearing aid if needed? Does it follow up with you to ask if you’re adjusting to your hearing aids okay? If you broke your leg, would you brush off getting an x-ray, put a cast on yourself, and assume everything’s fine after a few weeks? Okay, the questions are getting redundant; you get the point. Audiologists and hearing aid specialists have undergone extensive training in order to help people get the best solution possible based on their individual needs. They are there to help, not just to sell you a product. It’s something that a website can’t offer.
Myth: My friend doesn’t wear two hearing aids, so I don’t need to either.
Fact: Everyone’s hearing difficulties are different and require individualized care, just like many other medical treatments. Have you ever tried on a friend’s prescription glasses out of curiosity or for fun? Did they correct your vision perfectly? What works for your friend may not work for you, especially when it comes to your health. Again, a hearing healthcare professional has undergone training to provide you with expertise and the best options for your treatment. The brain is designed to use information coming from both ears, so if you have difficulty hearing in both ears, wearing two hearing aids can significantly help with localizing sounds, hearing in noisy environments, and improving your overall hearing experience. Being able to fully reconnect with your friends and loved ones in conversations is worth it!
Are there any myths that we missed? Let us know!
Last Updated: January 31, 2014