At times, it seems as if we love to mislead ourselves. Wikipedia has an article titled “List of common misconceptions” that contains hundreds of widely-held but false beliefs. Yes, I know it’s Wikipedia, but take a look at the bottom of the web page and you’ll see around 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 countless examples of beliefs that we simply assume to be accurate, but every 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. Almost all myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are based on the problems associated with the outdated analog hearing aid models. But considering 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? Read below to see if any of the top 5 myths are stopping 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 highly 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.
Additionally, since the release of this research, 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 experienced professional.
Bad experiences are likely the result of buying the wrong hearing aid, purchasing hearing aids online, consulting 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. Simply do a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll discover a variety of examples of stylish and colorful models from several producers.
Also, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are virtually or completely hidden when worn. The newer, attractive designs, however, persuade some patients to choose the somewhat 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 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 probably find a pair that fits your needs, preferences, and budget. Also take into account that, as is the scenario with all electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable each year, and that the value of healthier hearing and a better life is almost always well worth the expense.
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 very likely created 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 assure performance.
You wouldn’t dare buy a pair of prescription glasses online 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 no different.
Yes, visiting a hearing specialist is more costly, but look at what you get for the price: you can be certain that you get the right hearing aid with the right fitting and settings, combined with follow-up care, adjustments, cleanings, instructions, repair services, and more. It’s worth it.
Myth # 5: Hearing aids are uncomfortable and challenging to operate.
Reality: If this pertains to analog hearing aids, then yes, it is generally true. The thing is, nearly 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; in addition, some digital hearing aids can even be operated through your smart phone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being developed with optimum ease-of-use in mind.
Your hearing specialist can also establish a custom mold for your hearing aids, assuring a comfortable and suitable fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will very likely be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the shape of your ear.