Nola Aronson from Advanced Audiology is discussing several reasons why people don’t get hearing aids, and the Santa Clarita audiologist is educating the public on why these beliefs are actually myths.
#1 – Only “old” people need hearing aids.
Though aging can be a factor when it comes to hearing loss, Aronson said that many other causes can affect younger people, resulting in the need for a hearing aid.
“It does have to do with aging, but it also has to do with noise exposure, … a history of ear infections,” Aronson noted. “You can have hearing loss from just wax in your ears, you can have hearing loss from fluid in your ears — there’s lots of things that you can have hearing loss from besides aging.”
#2 – Hearing aids are always very obvious and large.
This belief may have been true when hearing aids were first developed many years ago, but technology today has made this common assumption a myth, according to Aronson.
“We have these tiny little hearing aids that nobody even notices,” she explained, questioning why a lot of people refuse to wear a hearing aid, but are perfectly comfortable wearing Bluetooth devices that are much more obvious.
“Everybody wears Bluetooth devices because they have to be hands-free on their cell phones now,” Aronson added. “These Bluetooth devices hang out of your ear and are so big and conspicuous.”
#3 – It’s too expensive to get hearing aids.
At Advanced Audiology, the price of the hearing aid is bundled to include service, meaning it’s a much more cost-effective value than people might think.
“You get lots of care when you come to Advanced Audiology — it’s not just, ‘Oh, I got your money now — goodbye,’” Aronson said. “We see you back years after years after years. You never pay anything to see us for our service.”
When thinking about the cost of hearing aids, Aronson believes that investing in your own quality of life and health is worth it.
“Realize that hearing aids are not a commodity — they are a medical device,” she said. “If it’s done properly, it comes with a lot of extra bells and whistles and counseling and service that hearing aids happen to need… I’m not out there trying to ‘sell’ you a hearing aid. I’m out there giving you a solution for your hearing loss.”
#4 – Your quality of life won’t change if you get a hearing aid.
Aronson firmly believes that hearing aids can drastically improve quality of life, and that choosing not to correct a hearing loss can negatively impact your quality of life in a variety of ways.
“You start making excuses why you can’t do certain things or you don’t want to go somewhere because you know you’re missing out on things,” she said. “The other thing is, you start to have fights with peoples because you’re not hearing them and then you misunderstand and you take it wrong… So then you don’t even have a good relationship life with your family and the people that you love.”
Not correcting a hearing loss also has potential effects on your health, Aronson added.
“The studies have shown, No. 1, you’re bringing on a cognitive problem faster,” she said. “If you’re going to get dementia or Alzheimer’s, it could make it come on faster because your brain in missing the information.”
In addition, recent studies have linked heart problems with untreated hearing loss, according to Aronson.
“Many medical problems are related to hearing loss,” she said.
The bottom line?
“Those are the kinds of things after 40 years of being this profession that I see,” Aronson said of the listed reasons people avoid getting hearing aids, despite them being largely untrue.
She continued, “It is so frustrating to me as an audiologist, because the reason I’m an audiologist is because I love helping people… And when somebody says to me, ‘I don’t have a hearing loss,’ and I just tested them (and they do), in a way, that cuts me off from helping people. So it affects me just as much as the person with the hearing loss.”