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Common Hearing Aid Myths

MYTH: Hearing aids will cure hearing loss or restore a hearing impaired individual’s hearing to normal.

TRUTH: No hearing aid will ever allow a hearing impaired individual to have normal hearing. A hearing aid just cannot provide what the ear and its intricate working of nerves can. What it can do is amplify sounds so that those wearing them can benefit from and enjoy a wide variety of listening situations. Hearing better helps one to respond appropriately thus improving communication skills.

MYTH: Hearing aids will resolve all of a hearing impaired individual’s communication difficulties.

TRUTH: This is impossible, although hearing aids go a long way in helping a hearing impaired individual with their communication skills. Hearing aid wearers often still have problems following conversations when background noise is present or in noisy public settings, thus inhibiting their ability to communicate effectively in those situations.

MYTH: Hearing aids will destroy residual hearing.

TRUTH: Since hearing aids are prescribed according to an individual wearer’s specific hearing loss, it would be a rare occurrence for a hearing aid to cause further damage to a person’s hearing. There are several things a hearing impaired individual can do to further reduce the possibility of damage caused by hearing aids. They must be well maintained, worn correctly and well fitted.

MYTH: Smaller hearing aids have better technology.

TRUTH: Both larger hearing aids and smaller ones are equipped with cutting edge technology. The two most common types of hearing aids are behind the ear (BTE) and completely in the canal (CIC) hearing aids. Whether or not an individual will be able to wear a hearing aid that is nearly invisible to a casual observer, depends on the type of hearing impairment they have. The hearing aid that is most appropriate for one person’s degree of impairment or listening needs, may not necessarily be best suited to another person.

MYTH: Hearing aids are not absolutely necessary for relatively minor hearing losses.

TRUTH: It is not advisable to put off obtaining hearing aids until hearing loss becomes a bigger problem. Over time the risk of permanent sound distortion increases. In this case, even when hearing aids amplify the volume of the spoken word it can still sound garbled.

MYTH: Hearing aids will not be effective for some types of hearing losses.

TRUTH: Generations ago people with certain types of hearing losses, such as high frequency, were told there was little or no help out there for them. With advances in hearing aid technology this is no longer true. Hearing aids are now effective for at least 95 % of hearing impaired individuals.

MYTH: Babies can’t be fitted with hearing aids.

TRUTH: Actually infants as young as a month old can be fitted with hearing aids. With the increase in hearing tests for at risk newborns, hearing impairments are being detected earlier then ever and the world of hearing aid research and technology is doing its best to keep pace.

MYTH: It doesn’t matter where hearing aids are purchased.

TRUTH: While buying hearing aids through mail order or off the internet may be less expensive, it is not necessarily advisable. By purchasing through these venues, a hearing aid consumer may be giving up the quality of care they will get by working with an audiologist. This includes things such as a qualified hearing evaluation, professional recommendations as to the most appropriate type of hearing aid, expert instruction regarding proper hearing aid usage, follow up care, etc.

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