Common Hearing Aid Misconceptions That Might Be Holding You Back - Attune
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Common Hearing Aid Misconceptions That Might Be Holding You Back

most common hearing aid issues

We all have misconceptions that are persistent and contagious. As audiologists, we know that there is certainly no shortage of hearing aid myths: Big and bulky, only for old people or over-priced – there is nothing we haven’t heard before. 

In a world where ‘fake news’ travel at the speed of light, hearing aids seem to be polarising the masses. But what is truth and what is myth? We’re here to shed some light on common hearing aid misconceptions! 

We’ll debunk the following hearing aid myths:

  • Hearing aids are only for old people 
  • With hearing aids, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb
  • Hearing aids won’t help you because they didn’t work for a friend or family member
  • One hearing aid is more than enough
  • Hearing aids purchased online will be just as good
  • Hearing aids can wait until you really need them
  • Hearing aids will make everything too loud

Did you know that one in six Australians suffer from some degree of hearing loss? This number can be expected to increase to one in four by 2050. The ramifications of hearing loss are significant on both personal and economical levels. The most common and effective method for managing hearing impairments and preventing a further decline is the use of hearing aids. 

signia active pro buds

Image: Signia Active Pro Buds with Charging Case

However, only one in four people who could benefit from a hearing aid currently have one. People often wait seven years before seeking help with their hearing loss. The spread of inaccurate information prevents so many from getting the assistance they need. 

Wearing hearing aids is much more feasible than you may think. It is important to get all the facts straight and keep an open mind. Hearing aids are tiny powerhouses and have helped millions of people around the world with their hearing needs.

We’re going to bust a few of the most persistent myths around them, so you can make up your mind and hopefully, begin your journey to better hearing health with Attune Hearing, Australia’s independent and accredited hearing healthcare providers. 

outcomes for people with menieres disease getting a cochlear implant

Hearing Aids: Fact Vs. Fiction

Fiction: Hearing aids are only for old people 

Fact: Hearing aids are for everyone with hearing loss – regardless of their age 

Hearing loss can occur due to various reasons across all stages of life. Half of those affected by hearing loss in Australia are of working age, anywhere between 16 to 64 years. We live in a noisy world! Be it working in a loud environment or listening to music with earbuds. Even infants and young children can have hearing loss and may benefit from hearing aids. People of all ages should therefore regularly have their hearing tested and monitored

The vast majority of hearing aid users find that their quality of life greatly improves. There is evidence of the positive effects it may have on your social life, mental health and overall energy levels.

The positive effects hearing aid users experience include:

  • Improved quality of life
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Greater sense of control 
  • Slower cognitive decline
  • Improved communication 
  • Reduced depression and anxiety

Moreover, sleek designs, direct Bluetooth connectivity and discrete operational functions make these little gems attractive to young and old alike. It’s about time the idea that hearing loss only affects the elderly be put to rest!

phonak audeo range

Image: Phonak Audeo Range 

Fiction: With hearing aids, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb

Fact: Advancements in technology enable hearing aids to be discreet

Today’s hearing aids are stylish, sleek and small. They are so discreet that there’s a chance someone you know wears them and you’ve never even noticed! Hearing aids come in different shapes and sizes. Some of them are so tiny that they can be placed inside your ear canal, becoming invisible to the human eye.

Accurate hearing tests and discussing your communication needs with a trusted audiologist can help choose a suitable and personalized device. Besides, having to ask others to repeat themselves again and again, makes a hearing impairment far more obvious than using hearing aids. 

man and woman chatting

Fiction: Hearing aids won’t help you because they didn’t work for a friend or family member

Fact: What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another 

Everyone’s hearing loss is unique to them and so are their communication needs. There are multiple factors which can vary dramatically between you and, let’s say, your neighbour. Hearing aids can be fine-tuned in countless ways to suit your individual needs and preferences. 

Rather than assuming hearing aids won’t work for you, you should at least consider “test driving” a hearing device! Attune Hearing offers trial periods for all hearing aids. If you are unsure of what to expect from hearing aids, it’s worthwhile asking your audiologist at the time of your hearing test. 

Click here to learn more about hearing aid trials at Attune Hearing

unitron boxi b-r receiver-in canal hearing aid

Image: Unitron Moxi B-R Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) Hearing Aid 

Fiction: One hearing aid is more than enough

Fact: Two is better than one, but one is better than none 

There is a reason why we have two ears. Being able to identify where a sound comes from is only because we have two ears. They also provide us with stereo sound experience and give us a sense of balance. 

If your hearing loss is due to ageing or noise exposure, it’s very likely that both ears are affected. In such cases, wearing two hearing aids will provide you with a far richer and fuller sound giving you the most benefit and a higher level of satisfaction. 

In some cases, you may have hearing loss in only one ear. Firstly, this needs to be tested and investigated medically by the appropriate professionals. Subsequently, one hearing aid may serve the purpose. The only way to confirm this is by having an audiologist carry out a diagnostic hearing test. After which they can advise you of the next steps. 

man running

Fiction: Hearing aids purchased online will be just as good

Fact: Tailored hearing aids from a qualified audiologist are a better investment for your hearing health

The shape of your ears, hearing graph and communication needs are completely unique to you. Fully qualified audiologists have years of experience and knowledge under their belt to provide exclusive hearing solutions for you. Initially, a comprehensive diagnostic hearing test needs to be performed. 

This is followed by a detailed discussion of the various styles and models available in the market to suit your lifestyle. At this stage, measurements of your ears will be taken for the devices to fit you best. Then, you’ll get a hearing aid fitting which will include tuning, learning how to care and manage these devices. 

Additionally, you might want follow-up tests and appointments to further adjust, troubleshoot or service your devices. On average a pair of hearing aids should last you five years. You will need professional servicing and maintenance to make sure they work optimally during this time period. These imperative services will be catered to your individual needs by accredited audiologists and will be worth far more than any offer you might find online. 

Fiction: Hearing aids can wait until you really need them

Fact: There is no time to waste when it comes to your hearing 

In most cases, loss of hearing is gradual, which means it could be a while before you realise you have a problem. Over time, the part of your brain that helps to recognise some sounds will stop doing so. 

Like most things related to brain function, it needs exercise. Hearing aids will provide the stimulation your brain needs to keep identifying these lost sounds. As with everything, the longer you wait the harder it is to retrain your brain.

Fiction: Hearing aids purchased online will be just as good

Fact: Tailored hearing aids from a qualified audiologist are a better investment for your hearing health

The shape of your ears, hearing graph and communication needs are completely unique to you. Fully qualified audiologists have years of experience and knowledge under their belt to provide exclusive hearing solutions for you. Initially, a comprehensive diagnostic hearing test needs to be performed. 

This is followed by a detailed discussion of the various styles and models available in the market to suit your lifestyle. At this stage, measurements of your ears will be taken for the devices to fit you best. Then, you’ll get a hearing aid fitting which will include tuning, learning how to care and manage these devices. 

Additionally, you might want follow-up tests and appointments to further adjust, troubleshoot or service your devices. On average a pair of hearing aids should last you five years. You will need professional servicing and maintenance to make sure they work optimally during this time period. These imperative services will be catered to your individual needs by accredited audiologists and will be worth far more than any offer you might find online. 

Fiction: Hearing aids can wait until you really need them

Fact: There is no time to waste when it comes to your hearing 

In most cases, loss of hearing is gradual, which means it could be a while before you realise you have a problem. Over time, the part of your brain that helps to recognise some sounds will stop doing so. 

Like most things related to brain function, it needs exercise. Hearing aids will provide the stimulation your brain needs to keep identifying these lost sounds. As with everything, the longer you wait the harder it is to retrain your brain.

cause and type of your hearing loss

Fiction: Hearing aids will make everything too loud

Fact: You can boost speech sounds and suppress others.

You are not alone: Noise pollution is a worldwide problem. However, gone are the days where hearing aids would amplify any and all sounds. Today’s digital hearing aids can boost speech sounds and suppress the less desirable sounds. 

Additionally, the evolution of technology allows you to choose settings and filters using your phone. Some features include noise reduction and controlling the directionality of the microphones to best perform in noisy situations. 

Hearing aids along with the communication strategies provided by your hearing healthcare professional will help you perform your best in the most complex environments. 

What’s Next?

Don’t hesitate to contact your hearing healthcare professional if you have concerns about your hearing or need hearing aid myths debunked! Taking the first step is often the most difficult part of the process. Find a local Attune clinic to make positive changes towards your hearing health and improve your overall quality of life! Book your appointment online today!

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