5 Hearing Aid Myths Debunked
Did you know nearly 20% of the global population lives with hearing loss?
With so many living with deteriorated hearing levels, it’s no wonder that there is so much interest in the subject of hearing aids. Along with this interest, there is also a lot of confusion, thanks to common misconceptions and myths.
That’s where we come in. Once you’re equipped with accurate information, like where to find affordable hearing aids, you’ll have the power to make informed decisions about your hearing health.
Myth #1: Hearing Aids Are Only for the Elderly
Just as hearing is a spectrum, so is the age range of those who use hearing devices. Access to affordable hearing aids is essential at every age. While the typical hearing aid users are 80 and older, currently, half of all people with hearing loss are under 65. In fact, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America, one in five American teens experiences some degree of hearing loss. There really is no definitive age range, though, as anyone can struggle with hearing. Some hearing loss is caused by genetic conditions, so even children can be affected.
Aging is far from the only cause of hearing loss. One of the most common types of acquired hearing loss is from loud noise. Damage can be caused by prolonged exposure to sounds 70 decibels (dB) or over – the noise level produced by the average washing machine. It takes a little more noise to cause instant hearing loss, but anything over 120 dB presents a significant risk. Many veterans suffer from hearing loss caused by too close proximity to detonations.
Workplace noise – which only affects those under retirement age – can be a big problem. There’s a reason why many job categories have mandated hearing testing and protective measures like noise-canceling headphones. Not all workplace noise comes from construction or factory work. Musicians are often exposed to high levels of noise and require specialized noise-reducing equipment, from musician ear plugs to in-ear monitors.
Myth #2: Hearing Aids Are Bulky & Obvious
In the last decade alone, there have been a multitude of advancements in hearing aid design. Holding a trumpet up to your ear might work well for a visual gag in a comedy, but it bears almost no resemblance to modern hearing aids. The technology has evolved rapidly alongside other innovations, incorporating features like microchips and Bluetooth as they became widely available. These new features make for nearly invisible hearing aids.
There are three main types of hearing aids: behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), and receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids. While they have different levels of “invisibility,” the modern iterations of all three can be discreet. The BTE hearing aid is what many people think of when picturing a hearing aid – the receiver and battery sit comfortably behind the ear, connected to a molded earpiece inside the ear. In contrast, ITE hearing aids live up to their name, fitting the entire hearing aid inside the outer ear. The most invisible hearing aid of them all is the RIC hearing aid, which is tucked deep in the ear canal. A hearing aid specialist or audiologist can advise which type is the best for your hearing loss and lifestyle.
Smaller microphones, signal processors, and receivers allow for discreet, in-ear hearing aids. These modern hearing aids are not only inconspicuous but can also be very comfortable, particularly if you decide to opt for a custom fitting.
Myth #3: Hearing Aids Restore Perfect Hearing
The human auditory system is a complex marvel. Hearing aids work with the system to compensate for hearing loss, but they can’t perform miracles. For those who are profoundly deaf, hearing aids may not be an option at all. However, these devices are a great support to millions of people around the world, improving their quality of hearing and helping them communicate better.
This myth comes from a lack of understanding of how the average hearing aid works. The microphone receives sound waves and converts them into electrical signals that the microchip can process. This chip adjusts the sound based on your hearing loss needs, changing frequencies or raising the volume. This amplified sound is then delivered directly to your inner ears through the receiver. While hearing aids can adapt sounds to make them easier for your auditory system to process, they rely on a certain amount of functionality to be effective.
Just as glasses don’t “cure” short-sightedness, hearing aids can’t make your hearing loss go away. Although your hearing may not suddenly become supersonic, an affordable hearing aid can be life-changing for those with hearing loss.
Myth #4: You Can Self-Diagnose Hearing Loss & Choose Your Own Device
There are many types of hearing aids, including over-the-counter options. However, it’s very important to choose the best option for your needs. The only sure way to do this is a professional assessment and diagnosis. An audiologist can do a thorough evaluation of your hearing and an in-depth consultation to provide you with a personalized recommendation. Remember, there are many different types of hearing aids, each one with its own strengths and weaknesses.
Unlike other gadgets you might buy on Black Friday, a hearing aid is a specialized medical device that needs to be properly set up by an audiologist or hearing aid specialist. A specialist can also help you custom-fit your hearing aids for optimal comfort and adjust the settings according to your needs over time. At Hearwell Services, our team can also recommend a range of hearing aid accessories that can greatly enhance your hearing experience.
Myth #5: Hearing Aids Are Unaffordable for Most People
While certain hearing aids and devices can be expensive, they don’t have to be. These days, good hearing aids are available at a range of budget-friendly prices. In many cases, they may also be covered by your health insurance, in whole or in part.
It’s important to do your research and speak to a qualified hearing aid specialist before you opt out of getting a hearing aid – you may find that it is more affordable than you thought and well worth the benefit to your quality of life. Research shows that hearing loss can worsen cognitive decline and even affect your balance – but this can be countered with an affordable hearing aid.
Book Your Professional Hearing Assessment
Hearing aids are not only for everyone but can also be discreet and cost-effective. Now that you can tell the myths from the facts, you can use your newfound knowledge to make the best decision for your hearing health. Whether you are currently diagnosed with hearing loss or just have some concerns, the first port of call is a full hearing assessment to help understand your current hearing needs.
Booking a professional hearing assessment at Hearwell Services gives you access to our team of hearing specialists who can guide you on your hearing aid journey, from assessment to hearing aid fittings and beyond. We’re here to support you with expert counseling and a variety of bespoke hearing solutions. Start the new year with hearing confidence – make an appointment with us today!