(and why you should rethink them)
You know (theoretically), if you have significant hearing loss, you should really get a hearing aid. Of course I hear lots and lots of reasons for why people want to delay the process. Did you know that on average, people will wait 7 years after they NEED a hearing aid before they actually get one??? This saddens me to no end! The sounds of birds chirping, a grandchild’s sweet whispers, the punchlines of all those jokes…missed. Those moments are gone. Here are the top 5 reasons that people in my office give me to wait to get hearing aids.
1. I hear fine. I just can’t understand people.
This is usually not an excuse, but a misunderstanding (pun intended). This is THE primary reason that people WAIT to get their hearing tested at all. Check out the picture below.
This picture demonstrates the most common type of hearing loss that I see in my office, a high frequency loss. That means that the letters on the right hand side of the picture, above that line, are not being heard well. No wonder everyone sounds like they are mumbling! The letters of the alphabet are different frequencies, and most hearing losses aren’t a flat, horizontal loss, but more of a zigzag or a slope. So you HEAR, but you miss certain letters in words. Did they say fat, or sat or that? A hearing aid should fill in those “holes” in your hearing so you can stop saying, “huh?” so much!
2. They will make me look old.
False! Hearing aids can be SO tiny. They can slide invisibly down in your ear, secretly behind your ear, and you can use a little remote control to change the volume so that you don’t have to reach up and draw attention to them. What makes you look more old: Saying HUH? every other sentence and sitting out of a lively conversation?? Or inconspicuously using a medical device so that you can stay involved? Glasses don’t seem to have nearly the stigma that hearing aids do and we need to bust that up!
3. They will be a hassle.
It’s true that there is some basic maintenance to keep your hearing aids clean and clear of debris, but it’s actually pretty minimal. They do take batteries, and those will need to be replaced regularly, but most hearing aids will say “battery” in your ear when it is low, and you can easily keep extra batteries in your pocket or purse so that they are always at arm’s reach. It’s also true that it is one more thing to keep up with, but I believe that when you hear the benefit of your new little piece of technology, the upkeep doesn’t feel like a hassle at all. There comes a time when the benefit outweighs the hassle.
4. I’m going to die soon anyway.
Sheesh. I hear this several times a week from my older clients. Now, I fit people of all ages with hearing aids, but the demographic certainly skews older (possibly this is also because people have procrastinated so long after they actually NEEDED the help!). This is the most backwards argument. If you are serious that you don’t think you will make it through the year, then by golly, don’t you want to hear for it?? Don’t you think your kids and grandkids want you to catch every moment you have left?
5. They are too expensive.
Hearing damage and loss is cumulative. Generally, if you live long enough, you will need some type of hearing help. Our parts wear out, that is a fact of life. One of the great things about getting that help when you initially need it, is that hearing aids can help you maintain your understanding of speech and cognitive function. There are strong links between untreated hearing loss and dementia. If you needed a new hip, you would feel the pain and be raring to get a new one. Hearing loss is not painful and thus denial and procrastination is much easier. Find a practitioner who is ready to work within your budget and look for financing options.
Have some more reasons to put off treating your hearing loss? Throw them my way, I’ll give you a rebuttal There cannot be a more satisfying job than mine. I get to help mothers hear their children, people hear their bosses, and friends catch the punchline of the joke!
Hi! I’m Madison. I’m working towards becoming a Hearing Instrument Specialist ( like my mother ). I’m observing, learning, absorbing and sharing as I become a part of this beautiful community. I want to know you! So please leave me comments if my posts are meaningful to you or teach you something new, and feel free to tweet me at @InMyGoodEar!