Sometimes, it seems as if we enjoy to mislead ourselves. Wikipedia has an entry 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 references to credible sources.
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 true, 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. Many of the myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are based on the problems connected with the outdated analog hearing aid models. But provided that the majority of 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 purchasing 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 proven to be highly effective. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association comparing the performance of three common 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.
On top of that, 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 according to your preferences by a skilled professional.
Bad experiences are most likely the result of acquiring the wrong hearing aid, buying hearing aids online, contacting the wrong individual, or not having the hearing aids personalized and professionally programmed.
Myth # 2: Hearing aids are big, cumbersome, and unsightly.
Reality: This one is particularly easy to disprove. Simply perform a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll discover a number of examples of stylish and colorful models from several manufacturers.
Additionally, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are nearly or entirely hidden when worn. The newer, attractive designs, however, compel some patients to choose the slightly larger hearing aid models to flaunt the technology.
Myth # 3: Hearing aids are too expensive.
Reality: Today, some flat screen televisions with ultra-high definition curved glass retail 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 depending on performance and features. While you may not want — or need — the top of the line hearing aids, you can without doubt find a pair that meets your needs, preferences, and finances. Also consider that, as is the scenario with all electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable each 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 claimed that hearing aids are not effective? Well, it was very likely brought about by 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 assure performance.
You wouldn’t dare purchase a pair of prescription glasses on the web without contacting your eye doctor because your glasses need to be individualized according to the unique characteristics of your vision loss. Buying hearing aids is no different.
Sure, visiting a hearing specialist is more expensive, but look at what you get for the price: you can be certain 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 worth it.
Myth # 5: Hearing aids are uncomfortable and difficult to operate.
Reality: If this relates to analog hearing aids, then yes, it is mostly true. The thing is, practically all hearing aids are now digital.
Digital hearing aids dynamically process sound with a compact computer chip so that you don’t have to be concerned about manual adjustments; additionally, some digital hearing aids can even be managed through your smartphone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being manufactured with maximum ease-of-use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also construct a custom mold for your hearing aids, assuring 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 curves of your ear.