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Dispelling Misconceptions about Hearing Aids

08/28/2015

This is the first in a series of blog posts that will address the common misconceptions about hearing loss and hearing aids. We hope they are helpful to you if you are on the fence about getting your hearing tested or purchasing your first pair of hearing aids (or if someone you love is in that situation).

Which one makes you stick out in a crowd ― cosmetic procedures or wearing hearing aids?

Sivantos recently conducted a survey that revealed the excuses used by many senior citizens to explain why they won’t get hearing aids even when obviously needed. The majority of respondents gave a similar excuse: for appearances’ sake. They didn’t want to stand out in a crowd in a negative way.

People are willing to invest a great deal in maintaining the appearance of youth and vitality. For example, the number of Botox patients in the U.S. is estimated at 4,250,000. Unlike hearing aid wearers, who tend to wait as long as possible to treat their condition, people undergoing cosmetic treatments are willing to take this costly and visible step while still comparatively young (40-59 years old). While it could be argued that a single Botox treatment is cheaper than a pair of hearing aids, keep in mind that treatment only lasts up to four months. In order to maintain the effects, Botox patients can expect to spend thousands and thousands of dollars over the same amount of time a typical pair of hearing aids lasts.

Reality check

Botox injections and other cosmetic procedures, including implants and face-lifts, are far more conspicuous to others and their effects last a shorter amount of time than wearing a tiny pair of hearing aids. Yet the seniors interviewed didn’t have the same concerns about them. In fact, they were three times more likely to have one of these elective and often invasive procedures than address their hearing loss.

The kicker is that most respondents declared they didn’t judge others negatively for how they looked wearing hearing aids. This leads us to wonder — if seniors are actually not put off by peers wearing hearing aids then just who are they afraid will criticize them for doing so?

We think the issue is that many seniors still remember the hearing aids worn by their parents and grandparents ― large, clunky, and conspicuous devices. However, their mental picture is outdated. Today’s hearing aids come in varieties so tiny they are virtually invisible, whether worn behind the ear or in the ear canal. When compared to the effects of some face-lifts that leave people looking perpetually surprised, there is no contest. The more discreet option for appearing younger is wearing hearing aids, and once again hearing as well as those around you.

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