Do you think of hearing aids as the giant, clunky contraptions your great-grandmother wore (and didn’t seem to help)? Don’t fall for this harmful myth. No one wears that type of hearing aid anymore. In fact, modern hearing aids are barely noticeable.
Today, most hearing aids are so well-designed you probably won’t even notice them. Many of your friends may already be wearing and benefiting from them.
If you’re delaying a hearing test because you’re harboring nightmares about wearing outdated technology, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Hearing loss affects your interpersonal relationships and can cause serious health issues if it goes untreated for too long.
What other hearing aid myths are holding you back? Let’s take a look!
Hearing aids won’t work with my phone and devices
Modern hearing aids can stream sound straight from your smartphone or TV. They also adapt to various settings, including phone calls, restaurants, or street noise. With modern hearing aid technology, you will always experience optimal listening conditions.
If you’re missing the conversations, music, and activities you enjoy because of your outdated opinions about hearing aids, you may feel isolated or even depressed. The risk of depression doubles for those experiencing untreated hearing loss.
I can’t afford the batteries
Many modern hearing aids are rechargeable, and rechargeable batteries are very reliable. No more searching a drawer for spare batteries. No more having your hearing aids quit during a visit from your grandson.
Just dock your hearing aids on a charger for a few hours at night, and they’ll be ready to use for an entire day. If you’re delaying purchasing hearing aids because of the cost and frustration of batteries, know that you have options.
Hearing aids won’t improve my hearing
Many people think hearing aids can’t help their individual hearing loss situation. Their hearing loss may be advanced, they may suffer from tinnitus, or their ear canals have different shapes. Maybe a friend tried hearing aids and decided they weren’t worthwhile.
Your friends may have great advice about where to eat, but hearing is so individualized it’s not a good idea to base your decisions on their experiences.
It’s rare that an individual doesn’t realize significant benefits from wearing hearing aids. It’s more likely an individual with hearing loss will experience negative health effects by not wearing hearing aids.
These negative health effects include:
- An increased risk of serious falls
- A greater accident risk, which can land you in the hospital
- More trips to the emergency room
This is as good as it’s going to get
Maybe, you’ve tried wearing hearing aids before. Maybe, you’re wearing one now. You weren’t impressed.
Hearing loss experiences are a lot like fingerprints – everyone’s are different.
If you don’t like your current hearing aids, a hearing specialist can refine the settings to help you hear at your best. Sometimes, it takes more than one fitting to find the settings that are right for your individual hearing loss situation.
If you’ve been living with mild to moderate hearing loss for several years, parts of your brain have become inactive. Researchers have studied this inactivity using MRI equipment.
Untreated hearing loss also leads to shrinking of the brain, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
It often takes a person a month or more of wearing hearing aids and practicing conversations with friends to achieve the full benefits of hearing aids.
After first receiving your hearing aids, try speaking with a friend in a quiet room with no distractions. After a few days of conversations, try turning the TV on in the background while you talk. When you’re comfortable, take your friend to a restaurant for additional practice. You can practice conversing at family gatherings, the grocery store, the gym, or other public places.
As you get used to them, try wearing your hearing aids for longer and longer time periods. In time, all conversations will become clearer and easier to understand.
Hearing aids are difficult to use
Hearing aids have some great features. We love to talk about them at Helping Me Hear. Some features may seem complicated, but most are automated. so you will benefit from them without having to activate them manually. You can also learn about each new feature individually.
Not wearing hearing aids when suffering from hearing loss, however, can lead to:
- 500% increased risk of dementia
- Cognitive decline, which makes it very difficult to learn new things
Studies also show that wearing hearing aids can slow cognitive decline and even reverse it in some instances.
I only need one hearing aid
You wouldn’t wear glasses with just one lens. Having proper vision in both eyes will provide better depth perception and widen your range of sight.
Your hearing works the same way. Wearing a hearing aid in each ear gives you the surround sound experience. When you wear one hearing aid, your daughter may sound like she’s speaking through a tunnel when she’s sitting next to you.
Wearing one hearing aid can also put your health at risk. You often don’t know where sound is coming from, so you may miss important sounds – like oncoming traffic, alarms, or warnings.
Don’t let myths prevent happiness
Don’t let hearing aid myths stop you from getting treatment for hearing loss. Get your hearing tested and speak with a hearing specialist to ensure you’re hearing at your best.