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If you live with hearing loss, you know how dramatically it can change your life. From communicating with your partner or loved ones to keeping up at work or school, hearing loss can hold you back and turn everyday encounters into frustrating challenges.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to effectively manage your hearing loss: using hearing aids. Hearing aids widen the scope of what you can hear and how well you can hear it, making comprehension and conversation much easier. However, while hearing aids have proven their effectiveness in treating hearing loss, many people are resistant to using them. Unfortunately, the reasons for this resistance are often based on common myths about hearing aids and how they work.
Myth: Hearing Aids Are Big and Ugly
When it comes to what people think hearing aids look like, it seems like the clock stopped in 1985. Instead of the sleek and discreet hearing aid designs available today, many people picture a chunky, obvious, putty-colored device that rests in the outer ear. In some ways, this makes sense because hearing aid design has come so far that new devices often go unnoticed!
Hearing aids today are lighter, less intrusive and less obvious than the models of decades past. Many designs fit entirely in the ear canal, while others resemble a cell phone accessory with a small receiver tucked behind the ear. If your perception of hearing aids is trapped in the past, it is time to look at what new hearing aids can offer you.
Myth: Hearing Aids Will Make Me Feel Old
We find many people are resistant to using hearing aids because they think the devices will “age” them. In truth, hearing loss can affect anyone regardless of age and roughly 2/3rds of new hearing loss cases each year are diagnosing people under the age of 65.
The real shame here is that what can actually make you “feel old” are the hearing struggles that come with untreated hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss is also linked to diminished quality of life and higher health risks for a wide range of issues from depression to dementia.
Conversely, treating hearing loss can help you avoid those challenges. Using hearing aids helps you retain a fuller sense of hearing and stay engaged with the important things in your life. Better still, the earlier you treat hearing loss, the easier it is to adapt to hearing with hearing aids and the more natural your sense of assisted hearing will feel.
Myth: Hearing Aids Don’t Work
Another common misperception is that hearing aids simply don’t work. Unfortunately, this one is based on the plethora of unregulated, poorly-designed devices marketed as hearing aids online. Hearing aid “deals” that seem too good to be true almost always are, delivering shoddy workmanship and poor sound balancing.
Hearing aids aren’t one-size fits all, and your audiologist will not only fit your hearing aid to your ear, they will also program your device to specifically meet your hearing needs. With the advent of digital sound processing, quality hearing aids have become far more than simple sound amplifiers. Modern devices deliver nuanced sound amplification and suppression of environmental noise to deliver clear and natural sound enhancement. Good hearing aids are an investment in your health.
Myth: Hearing Aids Should Work Like Glasses
Using hearing aids is an adjustment and correcting hearing loss isn’t the same as a vision correction. While the right lens prescription will immediately bring things into focus, our sense of hearing operates quite differently. When hearing loss is present, it causes the brain to fundamentally change the way it processes sound. With muffled and partial sound information coming in, the brain has to develop new strategies to “fill in the blanks” and comprehend sounds and speech.
Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss
The sooner you address hearing loss, the sooner you can readjust to sound when hearing aids are introduced! Often hearing aids require an adjustment period of several weeks so your brain can “re-learn” how to hear. Hearing aids, fitted properly to address your specific hearing needs, greatly expand the scope and clarity of what you can hear. Contact us today if you are ready to benefit from hearing loss treatment!