With 30 years of experience in hearing healthcare, we've heard a lot of questions from patients who want to know more about hearing loss and what to expect from their hearing aids. We've gathered some of the most common questions here along with our answers.
We're always happy to listen to your thoughts and answer your questions because your peace of mind is important to us. Hearing aids are an investment, and you deserve to understand your own hearing loss and to be confident in your decision to move forward with hearing aids.
Will people be able to see my hearing aid?
Sometimes our patients worry that hearing aids will make their hearing loss visible and draw attention to it. But the truth is that hearing aids have become so small that they are often entirely unnoticeable. You may be standing close to someone who can go the entire conversation without ever realizing that you're wearing hearing aids.
Do I have to treat my hearing loss if it isn't that bad?
If you have mild hearing loss, you may be able to get by without hearing aids. However, it's possible that you are missing more than you realize, and you may have to focus harder to try to understand what's happening around you. That kind of careful listening can be exhausting. It's like squinting all day. Getting hearing aids can make it more comfortable to get by, even if your hearing loss isn't very severe.
Can't I just buy a hearing aid online?
There are some hearing instruments available over-the-counter and online, but those devices won't be as effective as custom-programmed hearing aids chosen specifically to treat your hearing loss. Think of hearing aids like prescription eyeglasses, not reading glasses. Hearing loss is complicated, and it calls for highly specialized treatment.
How long do hearing aids last?
If properly cared for, hearing aids should last between 5-7 years. They may last even longer for you, but many people prefer to replace their hearing aids after that timeframe because the technology has continued to improve and they want to enjoy the latest advancements.
How do I take care of my hearing aids?
It's important to keep your hearing aids away from moisture, so don't go swimming or take a shower while wearing them. We will show you how to clean them and how to change the batteries. We also recommend that you bring your hearing aids to us regularly so we can give them a more thorough cleaning and ensure that everything is working properly.
MYTH: Hearing aids will make me seem old.
Hearing loss happens to people of all ages, so they aren't necessarily a sign of aging. If anything, hearing aids are more likely to keep you feeling and acting younger because you are able to be more involved in the world around you.
MYTH: Hearing aids can't help in noisy environments.
The new hearing aid technology works very similarly to how your brain actually hears. Older technology tried to get rid of background noise, but that's not the way the human brain works, so it was less effective. Instead of getting rid of background noise, modern technology mimics the way your brain works to help you focus on what you're trying to hear, so you can better understand what someone is saying to you even if you're in a loud, crowded restaurant.
MYTH: Hearing aids will damage my hearing and make me reliant on them.
Properly fitted hearing aids won't do any damage at all. If you think it seems like other people have become reliant on them, that's just because those people have gotten used to being able to hear again. Once you have a device that helps you hear better, chances are you won't want to go back to struggling to hear!
MYTH: Hearing aids will make me hear like I did when I was 18.
Hearing aids are not a perfect cure for hearing loss, and they can't restore your hearing to be exactly the way it was when you were younger. However, our patients frequently comment that they're hearing sounds they haven't heard in decades, and it is incredible to see what a difference hearing aids can make in their lives.