Sometimes, it seems as if we prefer to deceive ourselves. Wikipedia has an article called “List of common misconceptions” that includes hundreds of universally-held but false beliefs. Yes, I know it’s Wikipedia, but take a look at the bottom of the page and you’ll notice around 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 wide variety examples of beliefs that we simply assume to be accurate, but now and then, it’s a good idea to reassess what we think we know.
For some of us, it’s time to reevaluate what we think we know about hearing aids. Many of the myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are founded on the issues connected with the antiquated analog hearing aid models. But since the majority of hearing aids are now digital, those problems 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: To begin with, hearing aids have been demonstrated to be 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 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 release 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 according to your preferences by a competent professional.
Negative experiences are most likely the result of buying the wrong hearing aid, purchasing 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 unattractive.
Reality: This one is particularly easy to disprove. Simply perform a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll see a variety of examples of sleek and colorful models from numerous manufacturers.
Additionally, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are nearly or completely invisible when worn. The newer, attractive designs, however, persuade some patients to choose the slightly larger hearing aid models to showcase the technology.
Myth # 3: Hearing aids are too expensive.
Reality: Presently, 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.”
Just like television sets, hearing aids range in price based on functionality and features. While you may not want — or need — the top of the line hearing aids, you can almost certainly find a pair that suits your needs, preferences, and budget. Also be mindful that, as is the case with all electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable from year to year, and that the value of better 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 claimed that hearing aids are not effective? Well, it was very likely caused by this myth. Like we stated 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 consulting your eye doctor because your glasses need to be customized according to the unique characteristics of your vision loss. Buying hearing aids is exactly the same.
Yes, visiting a hearing specialist is more expensive, but think of what you get for the price: you can be sure 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 complicated to operate.
Reality: If this makes reference 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 miniature computer chip so that you don’t have to be concerned about manual adjustments; additionally, some digital hearing aids can even be controlled through your mobile phone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being produced with maximum ease-of-use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also construct a custom mold for your hearing aids, assuring 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 shape of your ear.