At times, it seems like we love to mislead ourselves. Wikipedia has an article named “List of common misconceptions” that includes hundreds of universally-held but false beliefs. Yes, I understand it’s Wikipedia, but take a look at the bottom of the webpage and you’ll notice approximately 385 references to credible sources.
For instance, did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb? Or that sugar does not in fact make kids hyperactive? There are plenty of examples of beliefs that we just assume to be accurate, but every now and then, 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 Virtually all myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are based on the problems linked with the outdated analog hearing aid models. But since most hearing aids are now digital, those issues 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 stopping 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 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.
On top of that, since the publication of this research, 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 based on to your preferences by a competent professional.
Bad experiences are probably the result of purchasing 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 unsightly.
Reality: This one is relatively easy to disprove. Just perform a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll discover plenty of examples of stylish and colorful models from multiple manufacturers.
Additionally, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are virtually or completely hidden when worn. The newer, attractive designs, however, convince some patients to go with the slightly larger hearing aid models to show-off the technology.
Myth # 3: Hearing aids are too expensive.
Reality: Presently, 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.”
Just like television sets, hearing aids range in cost depending on performance and features. While you may not want — or need — the top-of-the-line hearing aids, you can more than likely find a pair that suits your needs, preferences, and budget. Also take into account that, as is the case with all electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable each 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 alleged that hearing aids are not effective? Well, it was most likely brought about by this myth. Like we said before, hearing aids have been proven to be effective, but the one caveat to that assertion 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 internet without consulting your eye doctor because your glasses need to be individualized according to the unique characteristics 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 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 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 generally 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; additionally, some digital hearing aids can even be operated through your mobile phone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being manufactured with optimum ease of use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also produce a custom mold for your hearing aids, providing a comfortable and appropriate fit. While a one-size-fits-all hearing aid will very likely be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the curves of your ear.