The paper is full of ads for hearing aids. New businesses are popping up everywhere. You have seen all the ads and heard all the stories, seen all the prices. Now... let’s break it down and debunk the myths about hearing aids.
Myth #1... Hearing Loss cannot be helped. Absolutely not true! Proper amplification brings true enjoyment to our lives. There are three types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive, or a combination of the two called mixed hearing loss. Amplification is the only solution for sensorineural hearing loss. Research has proven over and over that hearing aids work! Three critical components that can make or break your success with hearing instruments... First, the hearing aid technology must match the needs of your lifestyle. (The computer chip must be able to adapt to your noise & speech environments). Second, go to a qualified provider. Third... you must wear them!!
Myth #2...Hearing Aids make everything sound too loud. Not True. However, Mail order or "as seen on TV devices" do just make everything louder. They provide very poor results.
Myth #3...Hearing aids make you look older or handicapped. NO! An untreated hearing loss makes you seem older and confused. Not being able to communicate is more noticeable than a hearing loss.
Myth #4...Only people with severe or serious hearing loss need to wear hearing aids. All hearing loss even if it is mild a loss should be corrected. If you have a vision problem, you get it corrected. Our brains need auditory stimulation to be healthy! Hearing loss causes anger, frustration and even embarrassment, feelings of isolation which can lead to depression. Finally, this can set up the stage for the early onset of memory loss/Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.
Myth #5... All Hearing aid providers are the same. NOT TRUE! Experience matters. Make sure you are dealing with someone with an excellent reputation and training in the latest technology available. Visit their office. Meet their staff. Ask for a tour of their facility. Most of all... make sure YOU are comfortable; you are going to spend many years with this group so make sure they are ALL that you want and need them to be!
Myth #6... All Hearing Aid Manufacturers have the same products. Not true! There are 6 major manufactures. Only ONE American owned and operated. (Starkey). They are a privately owned and operated in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. They employ about 4600 people. They fit hearing aids world-wide and have the largest foundation to help those in need with hearing instruments. They produce the only hearing instruments that have Artificial Intelligence sensors and gyroscopes to provide the best control and analysis of speech and background noise as well as head position. These sensors make over 50 million automatic adjustments a day. The more the hearing instruments do to clear up all the sounds…the better you understand. Starkey has had the highest moisture/waterproof rating in the industry for at least 12 years.
Myth #7... You can get by with just one hearing aid. The answer is simple...NO! Not if you have a hearing loss in both ears. If you have a hearing loss in both ears, you need hearing aids in both ears. We hear normally using two ears because we have better localization of sound, improved understanding, safety, and wider hearing range, just to name a few reasons.
Myth #8... Why do hearing aids cost so much? Research & development runs in the neighborhood of $70 million EACH year. Hearing aids are underutilized... just like the first cell phones. When u buy a hearing aid most offices have a bundled price that includes not just warranty but service. Our office UNBUNDLED a couple of years ago. This way you can pick the length of warranty you would like with the hearing aid and there are different service plans. This allows you to have some control over the costs. This pricing strategy gives you more options for your care. Our patients have given us positive input on this unbundling strategy.
Our office will be celebrating 55 years in business in February 2023 and we try to always provide the best service, care and technology for our patients. We pride ourselves with adapting to the needs of our community and following best practice protocols. As mentioned earlier... make sure you are comfortable and confident in the group you are entrusting your "better hearing journey" to because you are going to become a team! To Hear Better Is To Live Better!