Hearing loss is more common than you may think, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who could benefit from using hearing aids opts to use them. Experts estimate that approximately 15% of Americans (almost 40 million of them) over the age of 18 have trouble hearing. Of those, almost 30 million could benefit from using hearing aids, but only a small percentage actually do.
While some may be hesitant to schedule a hearing evaluation and confirm their hearing loss, many others choose not to use hearing aids due to one or more of the many myths that are out there about hearing aids. These 5 are the most common myths hearing healthcare professionals hear, and it’s time to bust them to start treating your hearing loss:
Hearing aids are only for older people. One of the most persistent myths is that hearing loss only affects our parents and grandparents. Therefore they are the only ones who need hearing aids. Experts are finding that hearing loss is affecting people at younger and younger ages:
- Approximately 33% of Americans between ages 65-74 have hearing loss, and
- Almost 50% of those 75+ have hearing loss, but
- Nearly 15 percent of American adults between 45 and 64, and
- Eight million between 18 and 44 have hearing loss.
Hearing loss doesn’t discriminate. If you have hearing loss, hearing aids are recommended by hearing health care providers to improve hearing and can help prevent further damage down the road.
Hearing aids return your hearing to normal. One of the common misconceptions out there is that when you do begin using a hearing aid, it will immediately return your hearing to normal. The truth is that hearing aids may take some time to get used to. Sounds may be different than you’re used to. With some professional fittings and adjustments, regular use throughout the day, and even listening activities, you will become more comfortable with your new way of hearing.
Hearing aids are uncomfortable and big. If you haven’t seen today’s hearing aids, you may still have the big and bulky options of years gone by in your mind’s eye. Today’s hearing aids are smaller and often sleeker and more discreet even as they become more powerful with numerous features. These new designs plus fittings with your hearing healthcare provider can help ensure that your hearing aids are comfortable and easy to use just as they fit your lifestyle and needs.
Buying hearing aids over-the-counter or online is the same as buying from a hearing healthcare professional. While over-the-counter or online hearing aids may be the only option for some, the best option is still working with a hearing healthcare provider to find the best choice and ensure that it works for you. Purchasing a hearing aid through a provider often includes programming, fittings, and ongoing adjustments (along with the hearing evaluation) to personalize your hearing aid’s fit and function to you. Over-the-counter or online hearing aids leave all of this up to you.
My hearing loss is so minor, and I don’t need a hearing aid. More and more research is busting this myth and how serious it could be to believe that slight hearing loss doesn’t require treatment. Even minor hearing loss can have a serious impact on communication, relationships, mental health, cognitive function, and quality of life, to mention a few.
If you have hearing loss, it’s time to stop buying into the hearing aid myths. Contact our office today to schedule a hearing evaluation or to learn more about hearing aid options to treat your hearing loss.