Discussing hearing aids

Hearing Myths

Hearing loss is both widespread, and very misunderstood. Click a common myth below to learn the truth.

Ear candling is safe.

Both the American Academy of Audiology and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery have put forth a statement that ear candling is not safe and does not actually remove wax from the ear.

Hearing aids are for old people.

Nothing could be further from the truth. We have fit children as well as young adults with hearing aids. Dr. Beuhler personally uses hearing aids on a regular basis, not for correcting hearing problems, but for connectivity reasons (he has his cell phone linked to them as well as his television). Dr. Beuhler also wants to experience what his patients are experiencing on an everyday basis. While the average age of the first time user is 71.1 years, we are seeing younger and younger first-timers.

Brief exposures to loud sounds aren’t damaging.

There have been instances where a single exposure has caused a permanent threshold shift in an individual’s hearing and/or tinnitus. It’s specific to each person, but why take the risk?

My hearing loss is mild, so hearing aids won’t help me.

Mild hearing loss can cause significant difficulties hearing in background noise. Today's hearing aids can help correct both the mild loss and hearing more clearly in background noise.

All hearing aids are the same.

They are not. Each hearing aid manufacturer uses a unique approach to shaping sound and processing complicated inputs. What can work for one person may not work for another. When someone is looking at obtaining hearing aids from a practice, ask what companies/manufacturers they work with. Ideally, there should be at least two companies that are offered.

Hearing aids lined up

All offices that offer hearing aids are basically the same.

Each practice will have policies/procedures that may be similar, but not the same. Qualified hearing healthcare professionals also vary in terms of their experience level and credentials/qualifications.

I can get hearing aids from a catalogue that will do the same thing as hearing aids from an office.

Read the description of what is being offered. If the description is for a hearing aid, then it will be subject to FDA oversight and federal and state regulations regarding their sale. Look carefully; it will most likely say “personal sound amplifier” and “this is not a hearing aid.” It is advisable if an individual has hearing loss to seek out the services of a qualified professional or see their physician first. Personal amplifiers amplify sounds fairly equally across the board, causing low frequency sounds to be amplified when none are needed. We have spoken to people who have tried these and they have said the devices amplify background noise more than the people they are trying to hear. Nothing beats a properly set digital hearing aid when it comes to the most specific, patient-focused solution.

My hearing loss isn’t that bad now. I can just wait until it gets worse, then I can get hearing aids.

Multiple studies have shown that early treatment of hearing loss provides the best prognosis for long-term success. Those who do not treat the loss are more likely to see their hearing deteriorate more quickly over time than those who treat the problem early on. This is due to auditory deprivation, which leads to the hearing nerve atrophying, reducing a person’s ability to understand speech even if the volume is sufficient. Those who wait and have the hearing deteriorate too much will find limited success once they are fit with hearing aids.

Tips for Friends and Family

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Speak slowly and clearly to those who have problems hearing.

Gray haired father talking to kids
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