Common Myths About Hearing Aids
Myth #1: Hearing aids will restore my hearing to normal
Contrary to popular belief, hearing aids do not restore our hearing. They are not like glasses where you put them on and everything is back to normal. Even with hearing aids, you are still listening through damaged ears. Hearing aids are not capable of regenerating the parts of our ear that are destroyed or damaged with hearing loss. Hearing aids do get a better and more complete signal to the brain for processing. But even though hearing aids do significantly improve how we hear, it is not realistic to expect perfection in every situation.
Myth #2: Hearing aids will make my hearing worse
Individuals who wear hearing aids often remark that their hearing seems to be worse when they take their aids out than it was before. While it may seem that your hearing has gotten worse after wearing hearing aids long term, the reality is that you’ve just begun to notice how significant the hearing loss truly is. When we lose our hearing, it typically occurs gradually over time. Our brain gets used to hearing things that way and it adapts and compensates. When we start wearing hearing aids, the difference between the hearing loss and the level that we should be hearing at becomes much more apparent. That is why it seems over time that we become more dependent on the hearing aids. Studies have actually shown that hearing aids slow the progression of hearing loss!
Myth #3: I only need one hearing aid
Although this may be true in some cases, the majority of individuals with hearing loss have it in both ears. Even if hearing is worse in one ear than the other, if hearing loss is present in both ears, two hearing aids is the gold standard. Back to the glasses analogy – if you have vision loss in both eyes, do you only get a monocle? No, you get glasses! Your ears are meant to work together to deliver sound to the brain. Hearing properly with two ears aids in localization, speech understanding in noise, and makes things sounds more natural. Two ears are always better than one!
Myth #4: Hearing aids didn’t work for someone I know, so they won’t work for me either
No two people have the same hearing loss. Yes, they may have a similar loss on paper. But the way that they perceive and process the sound is completely different. There are numerous factors that go into a successful hearing aid experience. First consider which professional you choose. Is it a doctor of audiology or a hearing aid dispenser? Next consider the devices that are selected for you. Hearing aids are not one size fits all. They are chosen based on your hearing loss and lifestyle and what will work best for you. Also consider that hearing aids are programmed differently for each person. The most important thing to remember is each individual’s hearing loss and how they process sound. Even if two people are fit with the same hearing aids, set to the same settings, by the same professional, they may have completely different outcomes.