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Is stigma keeping you from getting a hearing aid?

Published On: Oct 24 2011 02:48:34 PM CDT
Updated On: Dec 05 2013 01:48:58 PM CST
Hearing Aid

(NewsUSA) - According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, only one out of five people who could benefit from a hearing aid wear one. Some simply don't know that they need one. Others associate hearing aids with their grandparents and don't want to feel old.

But much of the stigma surrounding hearing aids rings false. Siemens Hearing Instruments, (www.medical.siemens.com), one of the largest manufacturers of hearing aids in the world, busts the following myths about hearing aids:

* Hearing aids will make me look old. Modern hearing aids are sleeker, better-looking and more effective than the clunkers you remember your grandparents wearing. And nothing makes you seem old like constantly asking people to repeat themselves or speak louder.

* Hearing aids will make me hear screeching noises. This problem, called "feedback," is caused when the microphones in the hearing aid amplify one another. Some hearing aids offer features that prevent feedback. For example, Siemens offers a line of hearing aids equipped with BestSound Technology, which features a feedback stopper.

* My hearing's not bad enough for hearing aids. Actually, it's better to start wearing hearing aids at the first sign of hearing loss. If your brain gets used to not processing sounds, you will have a harder time adjusting when you do get a hearing aid.

* Hearing aids won't work for me. You may have heard friends say that they gave up on hearing aids, but that doesn't mean the devices won't work for you. Look for hearing aids that offer a wide range of features that might be right for different listening situations.

* Hearing aids will make my hearing worse. A properly fitted and maintained hearing aid will not damage your hearing. Visit an audiologist to make sure you purchase a hearing aid that will work for you.