Convincing others to get the hearing aids they need

Hearing loss, unlike vision impairment or physical ailments, isn’t always noticeable at first. Because the slow loss of hearing can often be ignored or downplayed, sufferers frequently delay getting help as long as possible—research shows that the average sufferer waits ten years between receiving a diagnosis of hearing loss and actually purchasing hearing aids.

At least some of these people delay their purchases because they have heard many of the widespread myths surrounding hearing loss. If you or a loved one is considering a hearing aid purchase, take a moment to look over some of the common misconceptions below. They show that the benefits of hearing aids far outweigh the (often overstated) costs.

People won’t notice my hearing loss, but they will notice my hearing aids.

“What many people with hearing loss don’t realize is that the signs of the untreated hearing loss are more noticeable to others than hearing aids,” audiologist Deborah Touchette told the New York Times. Hearing loss sufferers can experience a range of related issues, from difficulties at work (including, in some cases, a pay reduction) to trouble holding conversations in noisy places to even having difficulty hearing the voices of young children—all issues that can be improved with proper hearing aids, many of which are small and easily overlooked.

Hearing aids are uncomfortable and don’t work well.

Hearing aids today have become smaller, more discreet and more powerful, just like other forms of popular technology like cellphones and computers. In fact, the digital revolution that has transformed phone technology has also impacted hearing aids, with newer models featuring powerful components that allow for advanced filtering of background noise and multiple microphones.

Hearing aids are too expensive.

Though hearing aids are not inexpensive, their cost is reasonable relative to their compact technology. For example, a typical digital hearing aid contains advanced microphones, computer chips, and a power source in a package able to fit behind (or within) the ear—all for under $1000 for a basic device.

New business models are trying to lower the cost for premium devices as well. While small, independent local hearing shops charge an average of well over $5000 for a hearing aid, you can save 60%-70% of that cost by purchasing a comparable aid online and still have full audiology support.

Hearing aids won’t improve my quality of life.

Hearing aids can’t restore your hearing back to its normal level, but they can make major improvements in your ability to function in daily life. Researchers found that most hearing aid users reported improvements in their social lives, confidence, and ability to communicate.

I won’t be able to get a hearing aid to work properly for me.

With advances in technology, hearing aids have become much easier for the wearer to operate. Now, computer chips and digital technology inside many hearing aids allows the device to automatically adjust to changes in the sound environment without the user having to take any action at all.

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