Sometimes, it seems as if we prefer to mislead ourselves. Wikipedia has an article named “List of common misconceptions” that contains hundreds of universally-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 credible sources cited.
For instance, did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb? Or that sugar does not actually make kids hyperactive? There are myriad examples of beliefs that we just assume to be true, but once in a while, it’s a good idea to reexamine what we think we know.
For a number of of us, it’s time to reexamine what we think we know about hearing aids. Most myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are centered on the issues associated with the outdated analog hearing aid models. But considering that the majority of hearing aids are now digital, those problems are a thing of the past.
So how current is your hearing aid knowledge? Keep reading to see if any of the top 5 myths are preventing 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: First of all, hearing aids have been proven to be effective. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association comparing the performance 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.
Moreover, since the publishing of this investigation, 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 skilled professional.
Negative experiences are 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. Just do a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll discover a number of examples of stylish and colorful models from numerous manufacturers.
Additionally, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are nearly or entirely hidden when worn. The newer, attractive designs, however, convince some patients to choose the somewhat bigger hearing aid models to show off 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.”
Just like television sets, hearing aids vary in price based on functionality and features. While you may not want — or need — the top of the line hearing aids, you can in all likelihood find a pair that fits your needs, preferences, and budget. Also be mindful that, as is the scenario with all consumer electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable from year to year, and that the value of better hearing and a better life is usually worthy of 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 most likely created 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 internet without consulting 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.
Sure, visiting a hearing specialist is more costly, but take into account what you receive for the price: you can be certain that you get the right hearing aid with the right fitting and settings, in addition to 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 mostly true. The thing is, nearly all hearing aids are now digital.
Digital hearing aids dynamically process sound with a mini computer chip so that you don’t have to worry about manual adjustments; in addition, some digital hearing aids can even be controlled through your cellphone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being designed with maximum ease-of-use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also generate a custom mold for your hearing aids, assuring a comfortable and suitable fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will probably be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the curves of your ear.