Hearing loss is a common condition, affecting roughly 48 million Americans. But despite its prevalence, it seems that most people put off seeking treatment. Only about one in five people who could benefit from hearing aids actually wears them, and those who do wait an average of seven years after being diagnosed.
There are many fears a person could have about hearing aids that would cause them to avoid treatment. Some of the most common ones are listed below.
“Hearing Aids Will Make Me Look Old.”
Many people worry that if they wear a hearing aid, they’ll stand out or look older than they feel. But what’s more obvious: a small technological device that sits in or behind the ear, or constantly asking people to repeat themselves, turning up the volume on the TV much louder than is comfortable for others and responding inappropriately because you didn’t understand what someone said?
Hearing aids also aren’t as bulky or noticeable as they were even a couple years ago. Today’s devices are available in a wide variety of styles and colors to match your aesthetic preferences.
“I Can’t Afford Hearing Aids.”
It’s unfortunately true that many insurance companies do not cover the cost of hearing aids; however, this doesn’t mean they aren’t affordable. Your audiologist will take many factors into account when selecting a hearing aid for you – including your budget.
Even if you require higher-end devices, there are plenty of programs to help cover the cost. Talk to your provider about payment plans and leasing options. Hearing aids are also sometimes covered by VA benefits, vocational rehabilitation programs and social service organizations.
“I’ve Heard Hearing Aids Don’t Actually Work.”
Many people who are afraid of getting hearing aids have heard from a friend or neighbor that their devices didn’t help with their hearing loss. It’s important to know that hearing aids are not like eyeglasses – they are the first step in an ongoing rehabilitative process. It will take some time to get the programming just right and for your brain to re-acclimate to hearing all the sounds you’ve been missing. It’s possible the person you heard this from didn’t fully commit to the process.
Hearing aids have also come a long way in the past few years, with features undreamt of even ten years ago. Today’s devices offer feedback reduction, automatic programming, sound localization and more.
For more information about the hearing aid selection and fitting process or to talk to an expert audiologist, call San Francisco Audiology today.