Sometimes, it seems as if we prefer to mislead ourselves. Wikipedia has an page called “List of common misconceptions” that consists of hundreds of widely-held but false beliefs. Yes, I understand it’s Wikipedia, but take a look at the bottom of the page and you’ll see around 385 references to credible sources.
For example, did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb? Or that sugar does not in reality make kids hyperactive? There are countless examples of beliefs that we just assume to be correct, but now and then, it’s a good idea to reevaluate what we think we know.
For some of us, it’s time to reassess what we think we know about hearing aids. The majority of myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are founded on the problems connected with the outdated analog hearing aid models. But since the majority of hearing aids are now digital, those concerns 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 stopping 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 effective. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association comparing the performance of three common 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 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 trained professional.
Negative experiences are likely the result of choosing the wrong hearing aid, purchasing hearing aids online, contacting the wrong individual, or not having the hearing aids customized and professionally programmed.
Myth # 2: Hearing aids are big, bulky, 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 see a number of examples of stylish and colorful models from numerous producers.
Additionally, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are virtually or fully hidden when worn. The newer, stylish designs, however, compel some patients to go with the somewhat 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 dependent on performance and features. While you may not want — or need — the top of the line hearing aids, you can likely find a pair that fits your needs, preferences, and finances. Also remember that, as is the situation 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 almost always worthy of 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 probably created by this myth. Like we said 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 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.
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, together with follow-up care, adjustments, cleanings, instructions, repair services, and more. It’s well worth it.
Myth # 5: Hearing aids are uncomfortable and challenging to operate.
Reality: If this relates 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 smartphone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being produced with optimum ease-of-use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also generate a custom mold for your hearing aids, ensuring a comfortable and ideal fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will most likely be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the curves of your ear.