Pro Hearing Sponsored Content: Hearing Aid Myths – Part 1

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CONTENT SPONSORED BY PRO HEARING – Education is one of the most important tools we use in consulting and counseling patients.

Our goal is to break down the stigma and misinformation surrounding hearing loss and hearing aids. It is unfortunate that myths about hearing and hearing loss have dissuaded many people from seeking the hearing aid they need and deserve. By educating patients with compassion, we give patients the knowledge they need to make informed decisions and thrive with their hearing technology. That said, let’s break some myths!

Myth # 1: Hearing aids are for the elderly

A lot of people don’t want to admit they have hearing problems because they are afraid it will make them old. The source of this myth is the natural occurrence of presbycusis or age-related hearing loss. Although hearing loss has a higher prevalence in older populations, it is important to remember that hearing loss and age are not mutually exclusive. Being young doesn’t prevent hearing loss for a number of reasons. Age can contribute to hearing loss, it’s true, but let’s be clear; it is not the alone factor contributing to hearing loss. Other contributions to hearing loss include heredity, illnesses and medical treatments, physical accidents, occupational hazards, and noise exposures.

Myth # 2: Hearing aids are just amplifiers.

Hearing aids and amplifiers are different. Amplifiers, known as personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), are over-the-counter electronic devices that cannot be customized to meet individual hearing needs. Their intended use is not for the treatment of hearing loss. In fact, amplifiers were originally designed for people with Ordinary hearing to increase certain sounds in its environment (think baby monitors or hunters who need to hear animal footsteps). Over the years, however, the public began to abuse these products to relieve hearing loss. The problem with using PSAPs for hearing loss relief is that they all turn up the volume, regardless of the user’s intention to do so. Simply put, amplifiers “amplify” loud and soft sounds to the same intensity at the same time. For this reason, amplifiers can damage hearing if misused.

Hearing aids, on the other hand, are FDA approved and regulated medical devices that are intended to be used to treat hearing loss. They are tailored by professionals who have extensive training in hearing disorders and the treatment of hearing loss. Hearing aids today are essentially minicomputers. They are made up of literal computer chips! They have capacities beyond the simple “amplification” of sound. They are programmed to manipulate frequencies, gain and volume to meet individual hearing needs. The only enhanced and clarified sounds are those that the wearer lacks. In addition, hearing aids limit loud sounds so that they do not run the risk of further damage to hearing.

These computer chips are also very intuitive and sophisticated! Hearing aids now have the ability to stream phone calls, music, and TV, all of which can be controlled by users on an app. Other handy features like battery charging, language translator, and access to Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa have never made it easy to connect! In addition, hearing aids are now also considered a wellness device! With built-in health functions that can count steps, detect falls, send alerts and monitor heart rate, wearers can now have their well-being and hearing needs met in one device!

Myth # 3: In the past, a doctor said hearing aids wouldn’t help me.

Audiologists have encountered this myth quite frequently over the years. Some patients have been told by a doctor that their hearing cannot be improved. Many have not pursued it further, although years have passed since it was said. Even still, it is important to note that hearing changes over time and it is important to have your hearing checked regularly. Ten years ago, some hearing losses could not be helped as effectively with hearing aids. This is because hearing aids at that time did not have the same capabilities as they do today. The good news is that hearing aids today have much more bandwidth thanks to the significantly greater number of channels. Simply put, it means hearing care professionals have extra room to manipulate frequencies that allow them to more precisely adapt to a wider range of losses. There is still hope! If you have struggled with hearing loss but have been told that you are not a candidate for hearing aids, we encourage you to consult with one of our audiologists to determine if this is still the case.

At Pro Hearing, we hope that patients leave our practice feeling better informed than when they arrived. Breaking the myths is part of that process! We want patients to feel empowered by what they learn here so that they feel better equipped to make informed decisions on their path to better hearing. By educating patients about hearing loss and hearing technology, we can better serve them and guide them to hearing success. If you or a loved one is struggling with hearing loss or have questions about hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear) or hearing technology, give us a call today!

Dr. Pam Matthews, Audiologist
Pro Hearing, LLC
9409 N May Avenue and 10404 S Pennsylvania Ave
Oklahoma City, alright


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