Millions of people around the world are affected by hearing loss. In some cases, it’s a result of an illness or a treatment, in some cases it’s because of trauma and in many cases it’s noise-induced. Whatever the reason, it’s crucial to have a hearing evaluation and to work with your hearing healthcare provider on a treatment plan to manage existing hearing loss and prevent further hearing impairment. For many people, this means hearing aids. Unfortunately, many people that would benefit from hearing aids never have a hearing evaluation or go the process of a hearing aid fitting. Of those who do take those important steps, many stop wearing them.
There are several reasons people may avoid wearing hearing aids after a diagnosis of hearing loss. Here are some of the most common:
“They’re not something I really need”
It may be fear of the unknown or the belief that you’re too young for hearing aids or even feeling that your hearing loss isn’t extensive enough to require hearing aids. The truth is, hearing aids can help any degree of hearing loss at any age, and that age is often younger than you might expect with increasing noise levels in our environment. The longer hearing impairment goes undiagnosed and untreated the more extensive it becomes and the more damage it can do to health and relationships.
These days there are numerous options for hearing aids. A variety of styles and features help to make them a seamless addition to your life. What some people may not realize is that getting a hearing aid is a process that begins with the first hearing evaluation. Once type and degree of hearing loss are determined, then it’s important to work with an experienced hearing aid provider or audiologist to select the best hearing aid option and get fitted. If it’s still uncomfortable, more adjustments may be needed to find the best fit. A hearing aid isn’t a simple device that you just pick up at the store and start using. It’s designed to be as unique as you and your hearing loss.
“They make me self-conscious”
There is a common misconception that hearing aids are only for our grandparents and wearing one will automatically age us. With hearing loss becoming more and more common, it’s definitely not a condition reserved for a select few of a certain age. Hearing aids have also come a long way since the first bulky analog versions came on the scene. There is now a wide range of options that are more discreet than ever before to help people feel more confident than ever wearing them.
“They’re not what I expected”
Hearing aids are amazing devices that can help people with hearing loss regain much of their hearing in a variety of situations, and while you may see vast improvement from day one, experts caution those just getting hearing aids to be patient with the process. It can take time to adjust to using hearing aids, but the payoff is worth it.
Don’t put it off. Take advantage of the latest hearing aid technology to manage your hearing loss and work closely with a hearing healthcare provider to get the best option and fit for your lifestyle.