Sometimes, it seems like we enjoy to mislead ourselves. Wikipedia has an entry named “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 web 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 fact make kids hyperactive? There are a multitude of examples of beliefs that we just assume to be accurate, but from time to time, it’s a good idea to reevaluate what we think we know.
For many of us, it’s time to reexamine what we think we know about hearing aids. Virtually all myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are founded on the issues linked with the antiquated analog hearing aid models. But seeing as 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? Keep reading to see if any of the top 5 myths are keeping 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: First of all, 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 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.
On top of that, since the publication of this investigation, hearing aid technology has continued to get better. 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 competent professional.
Negative experiences are likely the result of receiving the wrong hearing aid, buying 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 unattractive.
Reality: This one is particularly easy to disprove. Just perform a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll see a variety of examples of stylish and colorful models from several manufacturers.
Additionally, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are nearly or completely unseen when worn. The newer, stylish designs, however, convince some patients to go with the slightly larger hearing aid models to display the technology.
Myth # 3: Hearing aids are too expensive.
Reality: Today, some flat screen televisions 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 range in cost depending on 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 suits your needs, preferences, and finances. Also bare in mind that, as is the scenario with all consumer electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable each year, and that the value of healthier hearing and a better life is usually well worth the expense.
Myth # 4: You can save time and money buying hearing aids online.
Reality: Remember myth # 1 that maintained that hearing aids are not effective? Well, it was very likely triggered 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 web without contacting your eye doctor because your glasses need to be customized according to the unique attributes of your vision loss. Buying hearing aids is exactly the same.
Sure, 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, along 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 pertains to analog hearing aids, then yes, it is generally 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; in addition, some digital hearing aids can even be managed through your smartphone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being produced with optimum ease-of-use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also establish a custom mold for your hearing aids, providing a comfortable and proper fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will most likely be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the shape of your ear.