Over 4.2 million hearing aids were dispensed in 2019, with the hearing impaired population growing every day. Unfortunately, there are still many who opt out of hearing aids for varying reasons. With 28 million Americans poised to benefit from hearing aids, fewer than 16 percent have ever used them. Cost, stigma, and personal preference are all problems reported by the hearing loss community, with many being subject to misinformation and myths surrounding these devices. Not everything you hear about hearing aids is accurate, and understanding your treatment options can make all the difference when living with hearing loss. Remove the stigma and get the correct information you need by dispelling these 4 common myths about hearing aids.
Fact: The severity of your hearing loss and treatment options are unique to each individual patient. Some patients with mild hearing loss can maintain a great quality of life without hearing aids, while others see a significant difference. It is important that you receive a hearing evaluation from a hearing health professional to better understand your specific needs and to be honest with your hearing condition. Hearing aids may just be the solution.
Fact: Cost is a major concern for any patient when thinking about hearing aids. Studies have shown that many who could benefit from hearing aids believe they do not provide a large enough benefit to justify the price tag. While some devices may have a high cost, hearing aids come at a variety of prices and not receiving the assistance you need can actually worsen your hearing loss over time. Without proper auditory stimulation, your brain’s cognitive processes and ability to recognize speech and sound can suffer as you age. Worsening hearing loss is not the only risk either, as studies have shown untreated hearing loss can double your chance of developing dementia.
Fact: Personal hearing amplifiers are often used as a substitute for hearing aids due to their easy access and relatively low cost. However, they are not designed for those with hearing loss and are not recommended as a replacement for hearing aids. Hearing amplifiers work by boosting the volume of all sounds regardless of frequency, which can actually damage your hearing further. Hearing aids are tailored to your unique needs by a medical professional, performing the services that your specific diagnosis calls for.
Fact: While it’s true some scenarios, such as environments with background noise, can be better navigated with hearing aids, you should try to use your hearing aids at all times. Wearing something new can be uncomfortable at first and getting used to your hearing aids may take some time. Audiologists recommend wearing them for a few hours at a time to slowly get used to your device until you are completely comfortable wearing them throughout the day. Continually taking them off can limit the healthy levels of auditory stimulation you are receiving and can worsen your hearing health as you age.