Sometimes, it seems like we enjoy to deceive ourselves. Wikipedia has an entry titled “List of common misconceptions” that consists of 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 credible sources cited.
As an example, did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb? Or that sugar does not actually make kids hyperactive? There are a multitude of examples of beliefs that we simply assume to be accurate, but from time to time, it’s a good idea to reassess what we think we know.
For some of us, it’s time to reexamine what we think we know about hearing aids. The majority of myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are based on the issues connected with the antiquated analog hearing aid models. But seeing as the majority of hearing aids are now digital, those concerns are a thing of the past.
So how current is your hearing aid knowledge? Read below to see if any of the top 5 myths are preventing you or someone you know from getting 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 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 research, hearing aid technology has continued to get better. 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 qualified professional.
Negative experiences are probably the result of receiving the wrong hearing aid, buying hearing aids online, consulting the wrong individual, or not having the hearing aids customized and professionally programmed.
Myth # 2: Hearing aids are big, cumbersome, and unattractive.
Reality: This one is rather easy to disprove. Simply perform a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll discover a number of examples of sleek and colorful models from multiple manufacturers.
Also, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are virtually or completely unseen when worn. The newer, stylish designs, however, compel some patients to choose the slightly larger hearing aid models to show-off the technology.
Myth # 3: Hearing aids are too expensive.
Reality: Today, some flat screen television sets 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 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 take into account that, as is the case with all consumer electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable every year, and that the value of healthier hearing and a better life is almost always 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 very likely brought about by 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 assure performance.
You wouldn’t dare purchase a pair of prescription glasses online without contacting 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 expensive, 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, together with follow-up care, adjustments, cleanings, instructions, repair services, and more. It’s well worth it.
Myth # 5: Hearing aids are uncomfortable and confusing to operate.
Reality: If this makes reference to analog hearing aids, then yes, it is largely true. The thing is, almost all hearing aids are now digital.
Digital hearing aids dynamically process sound with a small computer chip so that you don’t have to be concerned about manual adjustments; in addition, some digital hearing aids can even be operated through your smartphone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being designed with optimum ease-of-use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also produce a custom mold for your hearing aids, providing a comfortable and correct fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will likely be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the contours of your ear.