With the season of mystery upon us, October is the perfect time to talk about the misconceptions that haunt hearing aids. Hearing loss is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease in the United States, with approximately 30 million Americans reporting some form of hearing loss. It is a complicated condition, and there is a lot of misinformation surrounding hearing aids.
Because so many people live with varying degrees of hearing loss, what applies to one person does not always apply to another. In this article, we’ll debunk some common spooky myths about hearing aids and reveal the truths lurking in the dark.
Myth: Wearing a hearing aid can damage your hearing even more.
Fact: When you first begin wearing a hearing aid, the difference in your ability to hear with and without the device can become more distinct. This may lead you to believe your hearing has worsened since using the device, which is a misconception caused by the brain.
Because hearing loss often progresses over a long period of time, the brain slowly gets used to missing sounds as the “new normal”. As a result, trying to hear without hearing aids may seem like it's worse than it was before because your hearing loss has become more pronounced.
Myth: Wearing one hearing aid is sufficient.
Fact: Over years of progressive hearing loss, an individual may begin to believe they have a “good ear” and a “bad ear”. While it is true there can be a “better ear” with less hearing loss, there is often some degree of loss present in both ears.
The brain processes signals from both ears for improved clarity and balanced sound. If you only use one hearing aid, but have hearing loss in both ears, your brain has to process two different sound and clarity levels, which makes the sound signal more difficult to understand. Wearing two hearing aids helps balance hearing and provides better results.
Myth: Only old people wear hearing aids.
Fact: Hearing loss affects all age groups—including children and young adults. While many people are diagnosed with age-related hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) affects about 25% of the U.S. population. There are hearing aid options available for individuals of any age suffering from hearing loss.
Damage to your hearing can be caused by a one-time exposure to an intense sound like an explosion, or by continuous exposure to loud sounds over an extended period of time. This affects many people who work in loud factories, shops, or construction sites, or people who participate in loud recreational activities like target shooting, hunting, concert-going, motorcycling, and attending sporting events. Even at-home chores, such as mowing the lawn or using a snow blower, can cause hearing loss.
Myth: Hearing aids will restore hearing to normal.
Fact: Hearing aids are not a cure for hearing loss, just as eyeglasses do not “cure” vision. However, as with eyeglasses, wearing hearing aids improves your quality of life—by improving communication, providing more independence, and decreasing risk of depression and cognitive decline.
Hearing aids can also help slow the progression of your hearing loss. When you have hearing loss, some of your auditory nerve cells aren’t being used as often, so they can weaken further. Plus, your brain is working harder to hear sounds due to less information coming in through those damaged or weakened nerves. The combination of the two leads to further hearing loss. Meanwhile, wearing hearing aids amplifies sounds you would struggle to hear otherwise, stimulating the auditory nerve cells and “exercising” them.
Myth: Hearing aids are only for those with severe hearing loss.
Fact: Hearing aids are not exclusively for individuals with severe hearing loss. In fact, the vast majority of hearing loss cases fall in the mild to moderate range, and there is a wide variety of hearing aids designed to address these hearing losses. Specifically, the newly established class of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids opens the door to improved communication for many, without the hassle and high costs of visiting a hearing clinic.
Myth: Hearing aids are too expensive to afford.
Fact: The fear of prohibitive costs often looms over the idea of hearing aids. However, OTC hearing devices, like those available from MDHearing, offer a budget-friendly alternative. While traditional hearing aids can indeed reach into thousands of dollars, MDHearing's affordable, FDA-registered devices start at just $297 per pair and come with a 45-day money-back guarantee, so you can try the hearing aids in your daily life first.
Our U.S.-based team of licensed audiologists and hearing specialists is also available via phone, email, and video chat if you have any questions or need any assistance.
Want to see if MDHearing will work for you? Start with our free online hearing test and get results immediately!
FREE ONLINE HEARING TEST