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Hearing aid technology changes so rapidly that many people rely on outdated myths. Although these stories might have been true at some point in the past, today’s hearing aids look very little like they did even a few years ago. With improvements in features and general functionality, it is essential to get the right information about hearing aids before you mistakenly write them off. Let’s consider some common myths one by one, asking ourselves where these stories came from and what facts in the present can transform our assumptions.
Myth #1: Hearing aids are for old people.
This common myth is no longer true when we consider it from two angles. In the first place, younger people are realizing that they can benefit from hearing aids, and many of them successfully get the treatment they need. The latest features of hearing aids make them attractive to younger people, including Bluetooth compatibility and media syncing. The other factor changing this myth is that more young people are experiencing hearing loss than ever before. Many experts point to the prevalence of earbuds and headphones among young people, and this fact means that hearing aids indeed are no longer exclusively for old people.
Myth #2: Hearing aids are bulky and ugly.
In this case, the myth is based in a long bygone style of hearing aid. Although it is still possible to get larger hearing aids that are suited to those with manual dexterity issues or arthritis, many of the latest hearing aids are tiny, fitting invisibly within the ear canal. In addition to these tiny aids, some of the latest hearing aids look more like wireless earbuds than anything, making them better resemble the latest technology than a clunky older model.
Myth #3: Hearing aids are barely functional.
Indeed, older hearing aids had the annoying problem of squealing with feedback in some situations, and you might have heard that happening from time to time. Other older models of hearing aids raised background noise to such a high level that they were barely helpful at all during a conversation. The latest hearing aids have solved both of these problems, not only providing a crystal clear audio quality but also giving you the ability to isolate voices in a conversation from the background noise in an environment.
Myth #4: You can get away with just one aid.
Many people are tempted to use just one hearing aid rather than two. Those who have asymmetrical hearing loss have much more need of assistance on one side than the other. In rare cases, a person may have unilateral hearing loss that is completely isolated to one side of the head. Even in these cases, experts recommend wearing two hearing aids for a number of reasons. In the first place, hearing is a binaural sensation, and balancing sound is necessary for equilibrium and spatial location. In addition, many people believe they only have one “bad ear,” when in fact they have hearing difficulty in both ears to varying degrees. Improving the entire hearing profile will make you aware of the sounding world in 360 degrees.
Myth #5: I’m doing fine without hearing aids.
Although you might be making things work without hearing aids, you also might not realize how much you are missing. The process of doing your best with limitations and constraints is called “satisficing,” and this principle is true of far too many people with hearing loss. By making do with their limited hearing ability, not only are these people enduring unnecessary struggle and miscommunication, but they are also incurring many other negative effects for physical, mental, and cognitive health.
Although you might have found ways to get around hearing loss through reading lips, moving closer to sound sources, and even ignoring others, these measures do not get to the heart of the problem, and unfortunately they will most likely not be effective for long. The most common forms of hearing loss are degenerative, so your tricks that work today might not work tomorrow.
Hearing loss treatment is the best way to solve the problems you encounter, even if you feel like you are getting by. Let us help you dispel these myths about hearing aids!