Won't wearing a hearing aid make me stand out?
With the number of small, even invisible hearing aids available now, chances are no one will even know you’re wearing a hearing aid unless you tell them.
If you’re still not convinced, and are concerned about feeling self-conscious, you're not alone. The common myths around hearing aids are just that – myths – so don’t let them prevent you or a loved one from living life to the fullest with better hearing.
Here are some common myths and facts about wearing hearing aids.
“I’ve heard hearing aids are more trouble than they’re worth.”
The truth: Everyone’s experience is different. Your friend or family member may not have the results they expected, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a good solution out there for you. With today’s advanced digital technologies, many complaints about hearing aid performance, comfort and functionality have been completely resolved.
“They’re too expensive.”
The truth: It’s true that hearing aids are a significant investment, and lack of insurance reimbursement can be a barrier. But given the improvement they make in quality of life, productivity and earning potential, the money spent is more than worth it. Prices vary among hearing styles, models and providers, so it pays to discuss all your options with a trained hearing professional.
“They’re hard to use.”
The truth: While today’s hearing aids are more advanced than ever before, they are actually easier to use. They can be programmed to your hearing preferences for different environments and will automatically adjust, so you can move from one environment to another without manually changing your settings. Whether you’re in a large group, an intimate conversation, or an outdoor setting, you’re appropriately tuned in.
“They make background noise too loud.”
The truth: Amplified background noise used to be a primary complaint among hearing aid wearers. That’s because analog hearing aids amplified all sounds equally, making background noises uncomfortably loud.
Digital signal processing, directional microphones and noise cancellation features designed to distinguish speech from noise work much harder today to amplify the sounds you want to hear and decrease the volume on background noise. Some hearing aid manufacturers offer aggressive noise suppression features — that do not degrade speech quality or understanding — to improve your ability to hear speech in noisy environments.
“They make that annoying whistling noise.”
The truth: One of the top complaints of hearing aid users is whistling. Audible feedback occurs when the output of the receiver leaks out of the ear canal and enters the microphone of the hearing aid where it is re-amplified along with all the other sounds entering the microphone. It is a giant irritation for hearing aid wearers and often results in refusal to wear hearing instruments at all.
Hearing aids now feature sophisticated technology that virtually eliminates annoying high-pitched screeching or whistling commonly known as “feedback.” Digital signal processing effectively minimises or eliminates high-pitched “feedback” before it happens by recognising and canceling feedback instantaneously.
“My hearing isn’t that bad.”
The truth: Because hearing loss often happens gradually, many people don’t notice how bad it has gotten. If you’re constantly asking people to repeat themselves, turning up the TV volume, or misunderstanding conversations around you, it might be time to seek help. Evidence shows that early intervention is more effective. If you wait too long, your brain may begin to lose the ability to recognise and process speech. You may also exhibit signs of memory loss and a diminished ability to multitask. Read more about the relationship between hearing loss and cognitive decline here.
“I’m not ready to look old.”
The truth: In the past, the idea of wearing hearing aids was like admitting old age — a concept many find hard to accept in our youth-loving culture. This perception is changing as more baby boomers seek help for hearing loss at a younger age.
Today’s new hearing aid styles and colors are smaller and more discreet than ever. Some manufacturers make hearing aids in a palette of colors to either blend with hair and skin tones or to stand out as fashionably-colored electronic communications accessories similar to Bluetooth® phone accessories. The bottom line is that hearing loss is much more obvious than your hearing aids will ever be, and accepting the help that today’s advanced devices offer can keep you as young as you feel.