These common hearing aid myths could be holding you back

on Mar 12, 2019

The concept of ‘fake news’ has defined the year 2017 so far, while the rise and rise of social media provides a platform for anyone with an internet connection to have their say. How do you wade through the piles of information and opinions to sort what’s fact from what’s fiction? Especially when it comes to your health and wellbeing – a topic that can be polarising at the best of times.

Whether you seek your healthcare answers from the digital world, or from friends, family and colleagues, it’s best to check in with the professionals to make sure you’re on the right track.

Here, our team of ihear audiologists and audiometrists have busted some common misconceptions they hear from the hundreds of patients they see every day, to reveal the facts.

How many of these myths might be holding you back from seeking help for your hearing loss?

Fiction: Only old people need hearing aids

FACT: No way! Most people with hearing loss (65%) are younger than 65! People of all ages present to our clinics to have their hearing loss treated so that they can live life to the full in their jobs and education, as well sporting and social pursuits! Hearing well is also important for personal safety, for anyone at any age, particularly at work and on our roads. 

Fiction: Hearing aids stick out like a sore thumb

FACT: The days of the ‘brown banana’ style hearing aids are over! Today’s hearing aids are small; some are so tiny they’re completely undetectable. It’s highly likely that someone you know wears these modern hearing aids, and you’ve never even noticed! As we always say to patients who are concerned about the appearance of hearing aids – a hearing loss is much more noticeable when you need to frequently ask others to repeat themselves, or ‘guess’ the right response in a conversation (only to get it wrong!)

Fiction: I’ll only need a hearing aid in one ear

FACT: It depends. If your hearing loss is from ageing or repeated exposure to noise over the years, chances are that both ears will be impacted. While it may seem like the issue is with one ear, the only way to really tell is by having your hearing professionally tested. It’s a quick and easy process, and your audiologist or audiometrist will then be able to advise of next steps and create a care plan for you. 

We also need to help both your ears to hear at equal levels. This is important for things like localisation, which allows you to tell which direction a sound is coming from. More often than not, two hearing aids will be needed to achieve the right result for you – and your personal safety. 

About two-thirds of our patients who are new to hearing aids choose to go with a binaural (two ear) solution, and as a group they report a higher level of satisfaction than those who went with a single hearing aid.

Fiction: Hearing aids are way too pricey

FACT: Let’s consider this one a bit more closely. Hearing aids are a great investment in your ongoing health and wellness, but cost is a common concern. However, untreated hearing loss can reduce your earning power, which is important to our many patients who are still working. Further to this, without treatment the likelihood of suffering from an additional health condition like depression or dementia increases, which also has an impact on financial security. 

On average, a pair of hearing aids will last around five years – when this cost is broken down, it can come out at less than the cost of a daily coffee! It’s less expensive than you might think. 

Put simply, keeping your hearing health looked after is worth it. And the great news is that, like most things you can buy – a car, house, or even shoes – hearing devices offer a range of price points for all budgets, from entry-level models to the top-of-the-line. Every device is based on state-of-the-art research, but some will have more features and more complex processing technologies than others. Your local ihear team will work with you to find a device that fits both your hearing and budget requirements. 

We recommend that you check with your health insurance provider to see if you’re covered for hearing aids, and what your level of cover includes. You should also check to see if you qualify for free or discounted hearing aids from your employer, union, the Federal Government Hearing Services Program, or local charity (such as Lions or Rotary Clubs). Talk to your local ihear audiologist about your concerns, as he or she may know of additional local resources.

Fiction: I can buy hearing aids online and they’ll be just as good

FACT: It’s tempting to choose that inexpensive online solution, but as with most medical devices, hearing aids should not be purchased ‘off-the-shelf’ like this.  

Hearing professionals have years of training under their belt to personalise a unique hearing solution for you. This begins with a comprehensive testing process to determine the specifics of your hearing loss. No two people are the same! 

Your clinician will take the utmost care in fitting your device, and will then establish a follow-up care routine for you during the adjustment period. On average, new hearing aid users will visit their hearing care professional up to four times in the first month to get their devices just right. 

In short, it’s not worth wasting your hard-earned money on a solution that isn’t bespoke for you and your needs. 

How many of these myths had you heard before? If you’ve got any other hearing loss or hearing aid myths you’d like us to bust, let us know in the comments below. 

If you’re ready to start hearing your best, book an appointment with your local ihear hearing specialist today!  

Author: ihear Australia