There are many misconceptions about hearing aids. Many of these opinions are based on our own fears and what we remember from our older relatives that lived in a different era. Things have changed and hearing aids are now worn by younger patients and are designed to be nearly invisible. Additionally, they have been redesigned to minimize static and feedback. However, rumors persist about these devices that tend to mislead those that may benefit from using them. Here we will address five of the most common myths regarding hearing aids:
1. They can correct your aural loss in a similar fashion to eyeglasses restoring vision to 20/20 eyesight.
The truth is that hearing aids, unlike eyeglasses, are not meant to restore permanent aural loss. They are simply used to improve your listening and communication abilities to levels that couldn’t be achieved without their use. Though this may seem like disappointing news to some candidates, many eventually accept that regaining these skills can still substantially improve the quality of their lives.
2. They are not necessary if your hearing loss is minimal.
Every person has different listening needs. Also, there are different ranges and degrees of aural loss. If you ignore your difficulties, you are not only going to feel less in control, but you may frustrate loved ones that will be unable to help you. Treating your condition will not only improve your overall relationships with people, but it will increase your odds of living your life to its fullest. There is no need to deprive yourself of the peace of mind you will have from being able to listen to all the sounds around you.
3. There is no reason to use two of them.
Because we use both of our ears to localize sounds, drown out background noise, and increase the sound quality of what we naturally hear, it is crucial that those who have suffered hearing loss in both ears use two devices instead of one. After all, the combination of what is heard in both ears provides a dual ear-brain connection that rehabilitates the pathways that are used for learning and language.
4. Only the elderly should worry about this.
There are nearly 48 million people over the age of 12 with aural issues great enough to hinder their communication abilities. That is approximately one in five people. Also, it is important to note that 65% of those in any age range with difficulties are under the age of 65. Six million of those are between the ages of 18 and 44. These types of limitations need to be dealt with, regardless of age, or they may adversely affect social interactions, personal safety, and occupational and educational performance.
5. They make horrible sounds and give feedback that can be deafening.
This used to true, but there have been several advances in the technology that is currently being used. They no longer squawk or hiss, and are up to 99% free of feedback. As a matter of fact, many models now come with feedback cancelation as a common feature.
If you feel that you may need hearing aids, it is always best to make an immediate appointment with your audiologist. He or she can conduct an in-depth screening and determine which course of treatment will best suit your needs. The doctor can also address any questions that you may have concerning any audiology myths that may be confusing to you.