Hearing aids have come a long way in a very short time. They are more comfortable and loaded with features than we ever could have imagined 40 years ago. Hearing aids have also been shown in study after study to positively impact our health. Not just our hearing health but overall health.
So why don’t more of those who could benefit from wearing hearing aids do?
This is the question many experts are trying to answer.
Hearing loss and hearing aids
Hearing loss is more common than many realize or like to think. Almost 40 million Americans, about 15%, report some trouble hearing. And that’s just adults! Of those, it is believed that nearly 30 million could benefit from wearing hearing aids. Unfortunately, only a small number of those do wear hearing aids.
Whether it’s because their hearing loss is unrecognized and undiagnosed or they are avoiding wearing them for one reason or another, experts worry that not using hearing aids could be posing a higher risk to public health.
Treating hearing loss with hearing aids has been linked to a reduced risk of anxiety, depression, social isolation and cognitive decline, just to name a few. This is all in addition to their primary job of managing hearing loss to potentially help slow the progression.
With so many reasons to wear them, why aren’t we?
Why people don’t wear them
Over recent years, experts have begun taking a closer look at the many reasons why people don’t wear hearing aids. These range from worry about appearance and self-perception to cost and so many things in between:
- The belief that a little hearing loss is normal – Many individuals brush off slight changes in hearing as normal as we age and not something requiring treatment like hearing aids.
- Worry over appearance – It could be a fear of looking older or people stereotyping and taking them less seriously, but many see wearing hearing aids as diminishing rather than enhancing.
- The comfort factor – It could be an assumption without having tried the variety of models now available or a bad fit on a current hearing aid that may just need to be adjusted or replaced. Still, many opt not to wear hearing aids for comfort reasons.
- The hearing aid wasn’t an instant fix – Hearing healthcare experts stress that it takes time to adjust to hearing with a hearing aid. It will be a different sound and a different feel and takes patience. It’s easy to give in to frustration and stop wearing hearing aids.
- Cost is a barrier – For many, with few insurance plans helping to cover the cost, worry over price can keep people from seeking help and hearing aids even when options may be available to make them more affordable.
Don’t let fear or misconceptions stand in the way of treating your hearing loss with hearing aids. It could make a bigger impact on your health than you realize. If you have questions about hearing aids, how to afford hearing aids or would like to schedule a hearing evaluation to determine if you have hearing loss, contact our office to schedule an appointment.