Hearing loss affects people of all ages. Even mild to moderate hearing loss can have serious consequences on health, independence, relationships, and cognitive functions if not addressed early.
Many myths about hearing aids persist, deterring individuals from seeking help for their hearing loss. Here are some of the top misconceptions and the truth behind them:
Myth 1: Hearing Aids Don’t Work
While it’s true that hearing aids do not restore hearing to “normal” or “cure” the condition, they can significantly improve speech intelligibility and reduce background noise. They can also prevent cognitive decline, increased risk of falls, and social isolation by helping people interact more effectively with those around them.
However, there are many myths that prevent people from taking the first step on the road to better hearing. We’re breaking down five of these common misconceptions that can hold you or your loved one back from reclaiming the sounds you deserve.
Several factors contribute to the myth that hearing aids do not work. For starters, many people choose to wear low-quality devices that don’t fit correctly or aren’t programmed properly to their specific needs. As a result, they may find that they are not comfortable or effective. It’s important to consult a certified audiologist for professional advice when choosing and fitting your hearing aid.
Another common reason hearing aids are viewed as ineffective is that they can’t address all types of hearing loss. Some people experience more gradual hearing loss, which can be difficult to diagnose with traditional testing methods. For these individuals, hearing aids that provide a higher level of fidelity (i.e., clearer sound) may be more beneficial than devices that amplify all sounds equally, regardless of their intensity.
Finally, many people may try to get by with their hearing loss by relying on other techniques, such as asking others to repeat themselves or turning up the volume on their TV or radio. Unfortunately, this can lead to frustration for both parties involved. It is often recommended to use two hearing aids, binaural hearing, or the ability to perceive sound through both ears, plays a critical role in how your brain processes and understands speech.
Miscommunication and the inability to participate in social activities can cause stress and even depression for people with untreated hearing loss. Fortunately, the CNC Hearing and Balance Center team is here to help! We offer a range of affordable hearing technology to fit your lifestyle and budget. We can also help you navigate potential insurance coverage and financing options to ensure you can access the tools you need to live life more fully.
Myth 2: Hearing Aids Are Uncomfortable
A common myth that leads to many people not getting hearing aids is the belief that they will be uncomfortable. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Modern hearing aids are small, discreet, and very comfortable. They are designed to sit in your ear canal or behind the ear, so they aren’t visible at all. They also come in a range of colors, so they can match your hair and skin color. They are so light and small that they hardly even feel like you’re wearing them!
Hearing loss is a common condition, but some people still hesitate to get help. This could be due to outdated or inaccurate information about hearing aids. Fortunately, some very helpful resources are available, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not hearing aids are right for you.
Getting hearing aids is similar to getting a pair of glasses: it won’t restore your vision to 20/20 but will significantly improve your hearing ability. While it is important to be realistic about what a hearing aid can do, it is also essential to remember that hearing loss is progressive. Delaying treatment will only increase the rate of decline, and it may result in irreversible hearing loss that can’t be corrected with a hearing aid.
Another harmful myth about hearing aids is that they are large and conspicuous. While hearing aids used to be bulky, they have become more stylish and sleeker. Some are even so small that they fit completely inside your ear canal, and others are very unobtrusive and easy to wear. This makes them a great option for people of all ages who want to improve their hearing without having to compromise on appearance.
Despite this, many people are worried that they will look silly in their hearing aids. This is a shame because it’s well-known that untreated hearing loss has been linked to several health dangers, including dementia, falls, and depression. This is because the constant struggle to hear can take up valuable brain space that would otherwise be devoted to critical functions such as short-term memory. Hearing aids can reduce the stress on the brain and prevent these negative effects.
Myth 3: Hearing Aids Are Only for Older People
Many people who could benefit from hearing aids are reluctant to get them, citing the cost and the stigma associated with wearing them. However, this hesitation is often due to outdated or inaccurate information about the process of purchasing and using hearing aids. This is why separating hearing aid facts from fiction is important.
The truth is that while hearing loss is most common in older adults, it can occur at any age and is a normal part of the aging process. Untreated hearing loss can lead to a host of problems, including social isolation, depression, and cognitive decline. Taking immediate action to address your hearing loss can help to alleviate these issues and delay further deterioration of your hearing.
Hearing aids can maximize your hearing capacity by amplifying and processing sound and speech. This allows the brain to hear better and significantly improves life quality. Additionally, the latest technological advances in hearing aids make them discreet, with options to suit all lifestyles and budgets. In addition, the new class of over-the-counter hearing aids can be purchased without a prescription or visit to an audiologist, which makes them accessible for more individuals.
While it’s true that one hearing aid is enough to correct mild to moderate hearing loss, two digital hearing aids can do more for you than a single one. The brain requires both ears to correctly perceive sound and determine its source, a process known as binaural hearing. Using two hearing aids helps to promote this function, which can reduce your need for higher volumes of entertainment and communication devices.
If you’re worried about the costs of hearing aids, consult the Hearing Loss Association of America for a list of resources and organizations that can provide financial assistance. You may also want to talk to your audiologist about financing options to make this essential technology more affordable. Additionally, some insurance companies now cover the costs of hearing aids. So, if you’re struggling with hearing loss, don’t hesitate to contact CNC Hearing and Balance Center to schedule a free screening and consultation today.
Myth 4: Hearing Aids Are a Pain to Maintain
Like any other medical device, hearing aid maintenance is usually required. They may need to be cleaned daily and are usually subject to repairs and adjustments from time to time. However, it’s important to remember that unlike eyeglasses which can be replaced in a matter of seconds, hearing aids are a permanent treatment for a chronic health condition. They are also expensive and contain sophisticated microelectronics that must be handled carefully to ensure they last as long as possible.
Fortunately, hearing aid technology has come a long way in recent years. Today’s hearing aids are lighter, smarter, and nearly undetectable in most cases. They can open up a world of vastly improved sound, making it easier for people of all ages to enjoy their social and professional lives.
Some people worry that wearing a hearing aid will make them sound “fake” or robotic. But the truth is that advanced digital hearing aids boost all the sounds you normally hear – including your own voice! They can also help you to separate speech from background noise, reducing squeal and distortion and minimizing distracting background echoes. Plus, many newer models are designed to reduce background noise by using directional microphones to zero in on your friend’s voice above the crowd at a party or your coworkers talking over each other in the office.
Another common concern is that people with hearing loss will be unable to play sports, drive, or use their cell phones if they wear a hearing aid. But the truth is that most of the current models are durable enough to withstand the rigors of these activities. Plus, you can get special hearing aids that are water-resistant to keep them safe from sweat and humidity.
Unsurprisingly, people who wear hearing aids report significant improvements in their physical and mental health, sense of independence, sex life, ability to play sports and other activities, and overall quality of life compared to those who don’t use them. So don’t let the myths about hearing aids prevent you or a loved one from seeking and using effective, personalized hearing aids to restore their quality of life.