Myths and misconceptions regarding hearing aids
MYTH: MY HEARING LOSS IS NORMAL FOR MY AGE.
FACT: Isn’t this a strange way to look at things? It happens to be “normal” for overweight people to have high blood pressure, but this does not make high blood pressure normal!
Research suggests that more than half the people with reduced hearing are under the age of 65. More and more children are being identified with hearing loss thanks to the mandatory newborn hearing screening program. Teens and young adults who blare music in the cars could be causing irreversible hearing loss that could be helped with hearing aids. Baby boomers are hitting their prime and hearing loss is occurring sooner than in the past. Hearing aids are no longer a sign of old age. It can affect people of all ages.
MYTH: MY HEARING LOSS IS NOT BAD ENOUGH FOR HEARING AIDS.
FACT: Everyone’s hearing loss and listening needs are different. Hearing loss often develops slowly and subtly. A good rule of thumb is that if other people around you are complaining you can’t hear, you need to have your hearing tested. By working with an audiologist, you can determine how much a hearing aid will improve your hearing.
MYTH: I HAVE ONE EAR THAT’S DOWN A LITTLE, BUT THE OTHER ONE’S OKAY SO I DON’T NEED ANY HEARING AIDS AT ALL.
FACT: Everything is relative. Nearly all patients who believe that they have one “good” ear actually have two “bad” ears. When one ear is slightly better than the other, we learn to favor that ear for the telephone, group conversations, and so forth. It can give the illusion that “the better ear” is normal when it isn’t. Most types of hearing loss affect both ears fairly equally, and about 90% of patients are in need of hearing aids for both ears.
MYTH: I ONLY HAVE TROUBLE HEARING CERTAIN SOUNDS SO I DON’T NEED HEARING AIDS.
FACT: If you are missing certain sounds you have hearing loss and with today’s digital hearing aids hearing care professionals are able to precisely program the hearing aids to only provide amplification at the pitches you need allowing you to use the hearing you have left but get a boost where you need it the most. Inability to hear some sounds like the sounds sh, s, th, t, etc. significantly impact your understanding of the overall word causing the dreaded, “Huh?” “What?” and embarrassingly inappropriate responses to questions. “I only have trouble hearing women’s and kid’s voices.” Hmm, that accounts for more than half the total population. So, you’re saying you can’t hear half of the people talking to you?
MYTH: MY FRIEND HAS TWO HEARING AIDS AND HATES THEM AND SAID I SHOULD NEVER EVEN TRY THEM.
FACT: There are many factors that come into play when fitting hearing aids and therefore everyone’s experience is different. Every person has a different hearing loss, different size ear canals, different hearing aid technology, etc. Hearing aid success depends quite a bit on the hearing aid itself. Perhaps your friend chose a basic hearing aid that is not technologically advanced enough to suit their needs. Perhaps they have not followed up with their dispenser since the fitting and the hearing aids simply need adjustments. Please do not let another’s experience affect your actions regarding your hearing health.
MYTH: YOU CAN SAVE TIME AND MONEY BY BUYING HEARING AIDS ONLINE OR BY MAIL ORDER.
FACT: By working with an audiologist, you are purchasing professional care and services to ensure that the correct hearing aid is selected and that proper programming of the hearing aid is completed
Other professional care includes:
- Hearing aid evaluation
- Verification of fit of hearing aid
- Instruction in how to work and look after the instrument
- Repair services
- Rehabilitation services
Please share this information with patients who may benefit from a hearing assessment and hearing aids.
This information as adapted from the following websites: