Hearing Aids Myths and Facts
Myth: Hearing aids restore hearing to normal.
Fact: Although well fitted hearing aids improve your hearing and communication abilities, they do not restore your hearing to “normal” nor do they slow the progression of nerve deafness. Hearing aids are part of a comprehensive rehabilitation process and your audiologist will help you through it.
Myth: Hearing aids will damage my hearing.
Fact: If fitted professionally and well maintained, hearing aids will not damage your hearing.
Myth: You can save money by buying hearing aids on-line or by mail order.
Fact: A hearing aid is only one part of hearing rehabilitation. By working with an audiologist, you receive professional care and services, including recommendation for medical treatment, individualised sound programming, a tailored approach to get used to new sounds gradually, instruction on how to use the hearing aid, follow-up care and support, repair services, and rehabilitation services. At worst, a poor quality or poorly fitted aid can damage your hearing and be ineffectual when you need it most.
Myth: My hearing loss is not bad enough for a hearing aid.
Fact: Often a hearing loss develops slowly and you may learn techniques to get by. Bear in mind that getting by can be exhausting for you and the person you are talking to. Discuss with an audiologist if a hearing aid is likely to benefit you considering your hearing levels and individual hearing needs.
Some key indicators are:
- Friends and family complaining about your hearing
- People having to repeat themselves
- Feeling that other people understand conversation better than you
- Avoiding social situations because you are ‘all at sea’
- Not hearing the television clearly at a good level for other people
Myth: My hearing loss is not bad enough for two hearing aids.
Fact: Hearing loss can affect people of any age. There are several causes of hearing loss other than age. More importantly, untreated hearing loss is more noticeable and judged more negatively than hearing aids.
Myth: Wearing hearing aids is a sign of weakness or getting old.
Fact: Today’s sophisticated digital hearing aids deliver excellent sound quality and most people have the option of a very discreet hearing device.
Myth: Big, bulky hearing aids are the only option available.
Fact: We were designed to hear our best with two ears which helps us to localise sounds, process incoming information and improve understanding in background noise. Approximately 90% of people with hearing loss in both ears can understand better with two hearing aids.
Myth: Hearing aids are too expensive.
Fact: There are several types of hearing aids on the market, including different styles, technologies, sizes, colours and prices. Discuss with an audiologist which hearing aid is likely to benefit you considering your hearing levels and communication needs. The best option is not necessarily the most expensive.
Myth: Hearing aids don’t work.
Fact: Hearing aids can minimise many everyday problems such as reduced clarity of speech, poor understanding with competing noise and requiring people to repeat themselves often.
Myth: Hearing aids don’t work in background noise.
Fact: Any noise that reaches the microphone of a hearing aid can potentially be amplified. Most hearing aids selectively amplify important sounds while suppressing background noise. Consider the sorts of environments that you expect to be listening in when discussing hearing aid options with your audiologist.
Myth: Hearing aids whistle.
Fact: With improvements in technology, a properly chosen, well-fitted hearing aid will not make any unpleasant sounds when in your ear. For best results, consistent hearing aid use is required to allow sufficient training for the brain in selectively listening to sounds we want.