There are a lot of myths and stereotypes revolving around hearing, hearing aids and hearing aid use. This informational guide will help steer you away from these inaccurate assumptions and redirect you down a path of education and knowledge.
“My hearing is just fine.”
This may be true. However, because changes in your hearing range may be subtle and occur gradually, you may not notice when discrepancies arise. It is possible to adjust to this change in your hearing and believe you are still hearing normally. So while you think your hearing hasn’t changes, others may feel differently. The best way to know for sure where your hearing range lies is to have your hearing tested.
“I’m too young to need a hearing aid.”
Today there are more hearing-impaired people in the 45-64 year-old age category than there are in the over 65 age group. In fact, 60% of people who may benefit from hearing aids are still of working age.
More than a third of all hearing discrepancies are attributed to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) caused by loud music, loud workplaces or loud recreational equipment and activities. Due to NIHL, variations in our hearing are occurring at a much younger age.
“I don’t want to look old.”
Hearing aids are not a sign of aging. People of all age groups from the very young to the very old wear hearing aids. Remember, hearing aids are a tool just like glasses. While glasses work to bring images back into your visual range, hearing aid technology brings sounds back into your hearing range.
“Hearing aids are big, clunky and obvious.”
Actually, wearing hearing aids are far less apparent than hearing someone respond incorrectly to a misunderstood conversation, or having to ask people to repeat themselves all the time. Just like glasses technology produced contact lenses, advanced hearing aid technology has created discreet designs. Today many hearing aid styles are available in a virtually invisible profile. In fact, if someone appears to have good hearing, it’s possible they are using a hearing aid.
“Hearing aids can fix my hearing.”
Hearing aids are medical devices designed to aid your ability to hear. They can not cure it. Just like glasses can not fix near or farsightedness, hearing aids can not stop the progression of damage to your ears caused by noise or other changes in your hearing. However, they can return sounds to your hearing range, improve your ability to communicate with others, and improve your quality of life by allowing you to fully engage in your relationships, work and the activities you enjoy.
It's important to talk to your Audiologist or your Hearing Instrument Specialist about what realistic expectations you should have when it comes to using hearing aids.
“Hearing aids just make things louder, so people just need to speak up.”
Hearing is as much a function of the brain as it is the ear. When certain pitches or frequencies move out of your hearing range or become distorted through the presence of background noise, part of the information entering the ear may become distorted along the way. This makes it difficult for the brain to interpret what these sounds are.
Fortunately, smart, new digital technologies now have the ability to amplify sound selectively. This helps increase the amount of useful sounds that enter the ear and reach the brain so you can hear and understand what is being communicated.
“The invisible hearing aids are the best ones to use.”
Smaller doesn’t mean better. While cosmetically you may prefer a more discreet hearing aid, a smaller size does not mean the technology is more advanced. As well, just because a friend of yours has a certain style of hearing aid doesn’t mean that style would be ideal for you.
Today there are several styles of state of the art hearing aids. But the style you choose should be based on your specific hearing and lifestyle needs. Your Hearing Healthcare Professional can help you determine this. They can also help you understand the advantages each style has to offer.
Everyone’s needs are different, so no one style works best for all. It is important to take the time to understand how each style functions to help you hear your best.
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