Hearing aids are commonly regarded as being clunky, uncomfortable and a sign of old age. But this is far from the case.
The problem with misconceptions like these, is that they cause widespread misunderstanding and prevent people from seeking effective treatment for their hearing loss. After all, in today’s high-tech world where people of all ages wear headphones, earbuds and Bluetooth devices; why not wear something in your ears that will actually help you hear. Hearing aids are high-tech, discreet devices that can improve your life. So don’t listen to the myths – take action to protect your hearing.
Below, we dispel the common misconceptions surrounding loss of hearing and hearing aids to empower you to make the right choices.
Hearing loss is just part of getting old
You do not have to accept hearing loss as part of the ageing process. In fact, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to treat as the auditory system in your brain isn't stimulated – so it stops recognising sound. The good news is our brains can ‘relearn’ how to hear with the proper stimulation. Hearing aids are key to the retraining of the brain to help you hear again.
Hearing aids are unsightly (and expensive and clumsy)
A common misconception about hearing aids is that they are unsightly, uncomfortable, expensive and do not function optimally. However, advanced technology has vastly changed how hearing aids work and look, to the point that they are almost invisible. Miniaturisation and hi-tech processing allow today’s hearing aids to be discrete, comfortable and have outstanding clarity. They are like mini-computers performing thousands of calculations a second.
“I was given a hearing aid to try. I couldn’t believe the difference, for over 15 years I had been missing so much. I could hear magazine pages turning, typing on the keyboard, the fountain, and talk to people with background noise and hear them. I was happily surprised.” C. Styliano, customer.
Developments in hearing aid technology are allowing people with hearing loss to feel more confident and connected with the rest of the world.
I only need one hearing aid
Optimal hearing means both ears working together to absorb sound waves. When one ear isn’t performing at maximum efficiency, you lose volume and clarity – and you might not even realise it. The most common causes of hearing loss tend to affect both ears fairly equally, which is why we generally recommend getting hearing aids for both ears if it is recommended after a comprehensive assessment with your audiologist or audiometrist. This improves sound localisation and helps to pick out speech in noise.
Making the decision to amplify only one ear compromises on sound quality, your ability to localise sound and prohibits your brain from best adapting to sound. There is evidence to show that not addressing hearing in both ears can have a long-term effect on your hearing ability.
Hearing aids don’t do anything to help
People often get fitted for hearing aids and then don’t use them, stating that they make everything too loud. When you are first fitted with hearing aids, you may hear a little too much. This is a common experience and happens because you have adjusted over time to diminished hearing.
Be patient and allow yourself time to adjust. Restoring hearing loss is a slower process than vision restoration as the brain needs to be retrained to adapt to the new level of sounds it is now being exposed to.
Think about how long it took you to take action, was it a few years, several, or more? On average we take seven years to take steps to look after our hearing health – one of our most precious senses. You will be familiar with the expression ‘use it or lose it,’ so make an appointment with a hearing care professional and have a hearing test.
“The hearing aids have allowed me to hear things I haven’t heard in a long time. I feel 20 years younger.” M. Jennings.
The more you wear your hearing aids the more sounds you will hear, and it will become part of your everyday life. We have developed an acclimatisation program that we recommend our clients take part in to help them adapt to their hearing aids. Contact your nearest clinic to find out more.
It’s time to dispel the myths
After assessing that you require hearing devices, we factor in lifestyle, comfort level and price to find the right solution for you. Having a hearing test with a hearing care professional is the only way to accurately determine hearing ability in both ears. We have a free hearing test to help get you on the path to having the hearing you deserve.
It’s time to dispel the myths and re-discover the joy of sound.