This is the continuation of last week’s common myths about hearing loss and hearing aids. Feel free to submit your own “mythbusters” to firstname.lastname@example.org and get a voice in Audicus Hearing Aids’ blog.
6. Hearing aids will make everything louder, but not “clearer”.
Historically this has been a common concern with older analog devices. However, modern digital hearing aids have evolved substantially over the last 5 years due to the introduction of digital technology and better signal processing software. This means that noise cancellation algorithms inside the hearing aid are constantly working on filtering out noise and feedback. This is particularly relevant when understanding speech in noisy environments, like for example in a restaurant. Some digital hearing aids nowadays (such as our Audicus 300) also come with multiple directional microphones which can provide extra speech focus.
7. Hearing aids are incredibly expensive because the technology is complex
A recent survey of ours showed that 97% of hearing aid users thought that hearing aids from traditional clinics cost so much ($3000 to $8000 for a pair) because the technology is incredibly sophisticated. On the contrary; the cost to produce a hearing aid is generally less than $150, however gets marked up by up to 40 times as it passes through manufacturers and traditional retailers.
8. Medicare/Medicaid will cover the costs of my hearing aids or amplifiers.
Not really. Unless you are part of the Veterans Affairs (VA), you are pretty much left on your own if you’re thinking about relying on public coverage schemes like Medicare or Medicaid. There has been a long debate about passing a $500 tax credit, but the bill has stalled in congress since 2009 – and probably sits pretty low on the priority list of policymakers, in this general political and economic turmoil.
9. Hearing loss affects only a small proportion of the population, so only a few people really need hearing aids.
Really? Think again. Hearing loss is the 3rd most prevalent condition after cardiovascular disease and arthritis. It affects 35Mn Americans or approximately 1 in 9 people. If you want to put this in perspective, this is roughly the population of Canada.
10. Hearing loss is unavoidable, it’s partly genetics and everyone eventually gets it. Why would I need hearing aids if my mom didn’t?
That’s a pretty fatalistic view. While heritage can play a role, there are a lot of things you can do to delay hearing loss or avoid it altogether. You can start by protecting your ears from continuous exposure to loud sounds, altering your diet, quitting smoking and generally leading a more balanced life.
Do you have your own “mythbusters” that you would like to share? Feel free to send them to email@example.com and claim you place in Audicus’ blog.
Sources: Audicus, Hansaton, Betterhearing, Drugs.com