Debunking common hearing aid myths

Hearing loss is the most modifiable risk factor for dementia and other health conditions. Yet people who know they have a hearing loss will wait nearly 5 years before getting their hearing checked, and then another 7 to 10 before they do anything about it.

Posted Tuesday June 13, 2023

There are many misconceptions about hearing aids that prevent people from using them: “my hearing loss is not bad enough”, “my friend had hearing aids and they didn’t help,” “my dad thought they’d restore his hearing to normal”, “hearing aids are ugly, bulky things only for old people”, “they’re just expensive plastic and all look the same”. All of these beliefs are pure myths.

Myth 1: My hearing loss is not bad enough

Hearing loss typically develops slowly and subtly, and often those around you notice it before you do. Everyone’s hearing and listening needs are different, and by working with your hearing care provider, together you can determine how hearing aids will improve your hearing and quality of life.

Myth 2: My friend had hearing aids and they didn’t help

No two people have the same ear anatomy, hearing loss or listening needs, so there are many factors in play when it comes to hearing aids: technology level and style, the hearing care provider, and even the patience and determination of the wearer all influence a successful fitting and happy outcome.

Myth 3: Hearing aids will restore my hearing to normal

Hearing aids will not restore your hearing to normal or “cure” hearing loss. But they will provide significant improvement to your communication and listening abilities and can substantially improve your quality of life. Many models also offer features that support health and wellness.

Myth 4: Hearing aids are ugly, bulky things only for old people

Walk down the street and you’ll see at least half the people with something sticking out of their ears — trendy, bulky things called earbuds. Yet today’s hearing aids are stylish and discreet and much smaller than years ago. Many people say their hearing aids are barely noticeable by others.

Myth 5: They are just expensive plastic

Hearing aids are small computers. It takes years and millions of dollars for a large, multi-disciplinary team of hearing science and acoustics experts to invent and validate new circuits and microchips. Their sophisticated circuitry is miniaturised to be worn in the ear — a notoriously harsh environment— all day long.

Myth 6: Hearing aids are all alike

There are many different styles and technology levels of hearing aids, and they need to be carefully selected according to individual type and degree of hearing loss, listening needs, style preferences, cost considerations and other personalised needs. They also require proper fitting and adjustment for physical comfort, and volume and sound quality for each individual wearer.

There are many positive changes with hearing aid use, such as overall quality of life, ability to communicate effectively and participate in group activities, and improved relationships. So if you’re having trouble hearing, or if family and friends are noticing you’re not hearing well, come see us at Audiology South to find out if hearing aids are right for you.

If you would like more information or to cite the research behind this article, refer to the full story at the starkey.com blog.

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