Five Myths About Hearing Aids

hearing aid myths

 

We answer 5 common myths about hearing aids

myths about hearing aidsFor many people with significant hearing loss, hearing aids offer tremendous benefits, significantly improving quality of Life.

Due to a lot of misinformation out there being communicated by unscrupulous hearing clinics pushing hearing aid sales, we at Sounds of Life Audiology Clinic would like to bust some of the myths about hearing aids.

 

 

Myth 1 – You have a hearing loss therefore you need a hearing aid.

Truth – Not necessarily

Hearing loss is common as we age.  In fact, it is estimated that 50% of people aged over 60 have hearing loss.  However, having some degree of hearing loss does not necessarily mean you are suitable or that you will benefit from hearing aids.   Unfortunately, some hearing clinics recommend hearing aids to individuals who do not need them.

If your hearing loss is very mild, it is unlikely that a hearing aid will be beneficial.  As the name suggests a hearing aid is an “aid” and does not fully restore your hearing.   You should consider investigating getting a hearing aid when you are having frequent difficulties hearing conversations.  During a hearing evaluation your audiologist should conduct speech testing which will provide a good indication of the need for hearing aids.

Some types of hearing loss are caused by medically treatable conditions.   A qualified audiologist can conduct a comprehensive hearing test to identify the cause of your hearing loss. For medically treatable conditions, a further referral to an ENT should take precedence over hearing aid options.

 

Myth 2  – Hearing aids will prevent my hearing getting worse.

Truth – Sadly, no

Properly fitted hearing aids will not cause a decline in hearing, however they will also not prevent further hearing decline.  It is common as we age for our hearing to slowly get worse.  Unfortunately, some hearing clinics like to push the myth that hearing aids will prevent further hearing loss decline to scare people into purchasing hearing aids before they really need them.  Hearing aids will not prevent your hearing declining however they can be adjusted or fine-tuned to account for current hearing loss levels to ensure the continual stimulation of the auditory pathway to keep your speech discrimination ability intact.

It is very important for all people, whether normal hearing or hearing-impaired, to protect their hearing in noisy situations to prevent noise-induced hearing loss.   

 

Myth 3 – My hearing aids do not improve my hearing; therefore, I need new hearing aids. 

Truth – Not necessarily

If your hearing aids are not helping you, the first thing that an audiologist should do is check whether your hearing aids are faulty.   If they are faulty and under five years of age, it is highly likely they can be repaired*.   If your hearing aids are over five years of age, parts and electronic components of the hearing aids may no longer be available for repairs.

If your hearing aids are not faulty, they may need to be reprogrammed to account for changes in your hearing or your needs.  Most hearing aids are digital with a high degree of programming flexibility.  This means that even if your hearing has deteriorated, there is a good possibility (at least for minor changes in hearing) that your hearing aid could be reprogrammed to account for the decline.

A professional audiologist can reprogram your hearing aids using real ear measurements (insertion gain) to ensure they are being programmed to provide the exact amount of amplification at the ear drum.

*most manufacturers in Australia will guarantee availability of repair parts for at least five years from purchase 

 

Myth 4 – I need the top-of-the-range hearing aids to be able to hear 

Truth – Not necessarily

It is no secret that unfortunately many hearing clinics like to push more profitable high-end and premium hearing aids.  Although this technology can offer significant benefits for wearers with demanding or challenging listening needs, they will not necessarily be value for money for all individuals.

If you have significant hearing loss, you are likely to gain significant benefit from even entry-level digital technology.  If you live a very quiet lifestyle with basic needs (e.g. you just want a hearing aid for watching television or talking to the family) and you don’t need specific technology (e.g. Bluetooth wireless connectivity), the additional benefit from premium technology may not be worth the expenditure.

It is certainly worth asking the clinic whether they offer any no-gap high-technology hearing aid options.  Some clinics like Sounds of Life will offer a range of no-gap high-technology options for eligible pensioners and private health members.

 

Myth 5 – Your hearing loss cannot be helped.

Truth – Not necessarily

In the past, hearing technology was not at the level to address some specific types of hearing loss including unilateral hearing loss (hearing loss in one ear) and very high frequency hearing loss.  Due to modern advances in hearing aid technology there are now solutions for the vast majority of significant hearing loss.  Even if in the past you have been told by your doctor that your hearing loss cannot be helped it is worth getting an updated opinion from a qualified audiologist.

 

About Sounds of Life

Sounds of Life audiology is a member of Audiology Australia and Independent Audiologist Australia. We adhere strictly to Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics.   We pride ourselves on:

  • Being fully independent – We are not owned or operated by a hearing aid manufacturer or large chain.
  • Ethical Practices – We are focused on providing the highest level of care and do not pay commissions.

We also follow the Australian Government Hearing Services’ protocol for hearing services.

 

If you feel hearing loss is impacting your life contact Sounds of Life.

Contact us today on 1300 744 432 or via our contact form below:

 

    Your Name (required)

    Your Phone Number (required)

    Your Message