For some reason society at large does not seem to have the same attitude towards using hearing aids to help them better hear and communicate with the people they love, as they do glasses to help them see and interact with the world.
There are many excuses for not wanting to use hearing aids and we have listed some of the most common ones below.
“Hearing aids will make me look or feel old”. Many people falsely believe that using hearing aids will make them look or feel old. This notion could not be more untrue! Studies have found that people who choose to treat their hearing loss with hearing aids report higher levels of self-esteem, and lower levels of depressive symptoms than their peers who leave their hearing loss untreated. Choosing to treat hearing loss with hearing aids also improves other’s perceptions of wearers as well. According to studies, in the workplace, people who treat their hearing loss with hearing aids are often seen as more capable, competent, and likable than their peers with untreated hearing loss (https://www.hearingloss.org/wp-content/uploads/HLM_MayJune_2011_Workplace_MarkRoss.pdf).
“My hearing loss isn’t that bad”. For a vast majority of people, hearing loss is extremely gradual. It takes a long while for our hearing to slowly fade, allowing a lot of time for us to “adjust” to a life with untreated hearing loss. Many people do not realize how much they were missing when their hearing loss was untreated, until they choose to treat it with hearing aids! Also, hearing aids can do a lot and make a big difference for people with even the most mild hearing losses and are worth looking into regardless of how much or how little hearing has been lost.
“Hearing aids don’t work, because they just make everything loud”. Hearing aids of today are power packed with tons of high-tech features that are created solely to help wearers hear the sounds they want to hear, while minimizing the ones they don’t (like background noise). Most hearing aids have specialized technology that can detect if a sound is important – like speech – and amplify these sounds. At the same time, these hearing aids can also automatically detect background noises – such as street traffic – and make these sounds softer. Long gone are the days where hearing aids simply make things loud. Today’s hearing aids are much more advanced than that.
“Hearing aids are bulky and ugly.” When picturing hearing aids, many of us visualize the gigantic, beige, plastic, eyesore our grandfather used to wear. Lots of the time, people are surprised when they see just how small and discreet modern hearing aids actually are. Most of today’s hearing aids come in many colors (including a wide range of various skin tones) and are barely noticeable to communication partners. Some hearing aids are even worn completely within the ear canal, becoming almost totally and completely invisible to anyone looking at a wearer’s ears.
“Hearing aids are too expensive”. It is certain that hearing aids are a financial investment into one’s health. Although this is true, many hearing aid clinics and audiologists offer payment plans to help mitigate the upfront costs, and there are also some scholarship programs available to help folks pay for their hearing aids. When thinking about the cost of hearing aids, it is also important to think about the cost of not investing in hearing aids. Untreated hearing loss is costly. In fact, people with untreated hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than their peers without hearing loss. One could also consider the priceless cost of untreated hearing loss as well, such as missed opportunities to have meaningful connections and conversations with loved ones.
If you have noticed some changes in your hearing but have been hesitant to look into hearing aids because one or many of these reasons, please know that you are not alone. On average people wait about 7 years to seek help from a hearing healthcare professional. Do not let this be you! If you have noticed changes in your hearing, reach out to our friendly team today.