5 Reasons to Not Get a Hearing Aid
(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 TOO Old To Get them.
I hear this several times a week. 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 expect to have many more years, then by golly, don’t you want to hear for them?? Don’t you think your kids and grandkids want you to catch every moment you have with them?
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 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 @LevineHearing!
Across from the Arboretum
3135 Springbank Lane Ste 100,
Charlotte, NC 28226
5 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Not Get a Hearing Aid”
Great article! Some great points here. I for one WILL NOT wait. As soon as I need them ill have them. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 10. I’m not ashamed of needing a little help and I’m so thankful for my glasses. Talk about improving my quality of living!
Thanks for the comment, Ray 🙂 The perception of hearing aids is that they have to be big and visible, and while that was true 15 years ago, so many more people can be helped with virtually invisible aids. I believe that hearing aids will lose the stigma eventually and the more we talk about it, the closer that day comes!
Tried aids years ago when they only magnified the sound! Now later Realized I was reading lips when the message disappeared when the hand was put in front the speakers mouth! I bought two aids on a good payment plan and it has really improved my life! Make no mistake aids don’t return you to hearing perfection but they sure make life better!
Thank you for the comment, Jack 🙂 One of key things I stress with my patients is exactly what you just described…We are going to improve their hearing and understanding but we are probably not going to hit perfection. So glad that you are really hearing the benefits with your new aids!
I love your comparisons to so many other things people get that they have no qualms about