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At times, it seems like we prefer to deceive ourselves. Wikipedia has an page called “List of common misconceptions” that contains hundreds of universally-held but false beliefs. Yes, I know it’s Wikipedia, but take a look at the bottom of the webpage and you’ll see approximately 385 credible sources cited.

For instance, did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb? Or that sugar does not in reality make kids hyperactive? There are a wide variety examples of beliefs that we simply assume to be accurate, but once in a while, it’s a good idea to reevaluate what we think we know.

For some of us, it’s time to reexamine what we think we know about hearing aids. Virtually all myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are founded on the problems linked with the antiquated analog hearing aid models. But considering the majority of hearing aids are now digital, those problems are a thing of the past.

So how up-to-date is your hearing aid knowledge? Read below to see if any of the top 5 myths are keeping you or someone you know from obtaining a hearing aid.

The Top 5 Myths About Hearing Aids

Myth # 1: Hearing aids are not effective because some people have had bad experiences.

Reality: First, hearing aids have been demonstrated to be to be highly effective. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association comparing the effectiveness of three popular styles of hearing aids concluded that:

Each [hearing aid] circuit markedly improved speech recognition, with greater improvement observed for soft and conversationally loud speech….All 3 circuits significantly reduced the frequency of problems encountered in verbal communication….Each circuit provided significant benefit in quiet and noisy listening situations.

Moreover, since the publishing of this investigation, hearing aid technology has continued to improve. So the question is not whether hearing aids work — the question is whether you have the right hearing aid for your hearing loss, professionally programmed in accordance to your preferences by a competent professional.

Bad experiences are most likely the result of choosing the wrong hearing aid, buying hearing aids online, contacting the wrong individual, or not having the hearing aids personalized and professionally programmed.

Myth # 2: Hearing aids are big, cumbersome, and unsightly.

Reality: This one is particularly easy to disprove. Simply do a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll see plenty of examples of stylish and colorful models from several manufacturers.

Also, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are nearly or completely invisible when worn. The newer, attractive designs, however, convince some patients to go with the somewhat larger hearing aid models to flaunt the technology.

Myth # 3: Hearing aids are too expensive.

Reality: Presently, some flat screen televisions with ultra-high definition curved glass retail for $8,000 or more. But this doesn’t make us say that “all TVs are too expensive.”

As with television sets, hearing aids range in cost depending on functionality and features. While you may not want — or need — the top of the line hearing aids, you can probably find a pair that meets your needs, preferences, and finances. Also consider that, as is the situation with all electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable from year to year, and that the value of healthier hearing and a better life is almost always worthy of the cost.

Myth # 4: You can save time and money buying hearing aids online.

Reality: Remember myth # 1 that claimed that hearing aids are not effective? Well, it was most likely triggered by this myth. Like we said before, hearing aids have been proven to be effective, but the one caveat to that assertion has always been that hearing aids have to be programmed by a professional to ensure performance.

You wouldn’t dare buy a pair of prescription glasses on the internet without contacting your eye doctor because your glasses need to be tailored according to the unique attributes of your vision loss. Buying hearing aids is exactly the same.

Yes, visiting a hearing specialist is more expensive, but think of what you get for the price: you can be sure that you get the right hearing aid with the right fitting and settings, along with follow-up care, adjustments, cleanings, instructions, repair services, and more. It’s well worth it.

Myth # 5: Hearing aids are uncomfortable and challenging to operate.

Reality: If this refers to analog hearing aids, then yes, it is mostly true. The thing is, practically all hearing aids are now digital.

Digital hearing aids dynamically process sound with a compact computer chip so that you don’t have to worry about manual adjustments; in addition, some digital hearing aids can even be managed through your mobile phone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being produced with optimum ease-of-use in mind.

Your hearing specialist can also construct a custom mold for your hearing aids, ensuring a comfortable and proper fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will very likely be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the curves of your ear.