Hearing aids have changed considerably in the last several years. Has your understanding of them changed, too? The dedicated audiology experts at Colorado Ear Care are here to help you understand the latest advancements in hearing aid technology, and how they can help you get the best hearing care experience possible!
When you hear the term “hearing aid,” what comes to mind? Does it make you think of a loved one or a schoolmate who wore technology? For many, hearing aids are associated with different, often negative, perceptions of older age or other stigmatized conditions.
At Colorado Ear Care, we’re here to help you understand that as far back as the mid-90s — when hearing aid technology transformed from analog to digital — that the technology has grown its capabilities by leaps and bounds.
In fact, many of today’s devices are akin to miniature supercomputers, and outside of their basic components, barely resemble most people’s conceptions of what a hearing aid is, not to mention what it can actually do to enhance your quality of life.
So let’s explore some of the more common misconceptions about hearing aids so that when it comes time for you to take control of your hearing health, you’ll be that much closer to embracing all the options available to you.
Hearing aids are a sign of old age
Sure, some people who wear hearing aids skew older, but our view is that if you’re someone who wears hearing aids, it means that you’re taking care of your hearing health!
Would you equate wearing glasses with old age? How about wearing braces on your teeth? No, you’re just taking care of yourself, right? It’s the same with wearing hearing aids.
Besides aging being an inevitable part of life that we should all embrace and celebrate so we can enjoy ourselves to the fullest, wearing hearing aids — no matter what your age — means that you’re setting yourself up to be more deeply engaged with the people and the things that you love.
Research shows that people who regularly wear their hearing aids experience an improved quality of life, a delay in cognitive decline, increase in communication that leads to improved personal relationships, a higher earning power, among many other benefits.
It’s actually far worse to go without wearing hearing aids, considering the effects of untreated hearing loss can lead to an acceleration in cognitive decline, feelings of depression and social isolation, and an increase in mental fatigue.
Now, if you had the opportunity to wear a discrete but powerful device that could improve all that, wouldn’t you?
Hearing aids are uncomfortable to wear
This might have been true back in the day, but today’s devices are more comfortable than ever. Not only are today’s hearing aids made from lighter materials than the devices of yore, they’re designs are even better at being comfortably worn due their sleek form factors.
Behind-the-Ear and Receiver-in-the-Canal devices often come with comfortable silicone ear domes to be worn in the ear canal (very similar to those of Apple AirPods) and custom-fit devices, like In-the-Ear and Completely-in-Canal technologies are designed to perfectly complement the unique shape of your ear canals, meaning you can focus your energy on better hearing vs. uncomfortable technology.
Is there a period of transition to your new technology? Of course, just as there would be with anything new that you’re wearing, but our goal is to provide you with the best hearing care experience possible, so if your devices are giving you trouble, then we’re here to help!
There’s no difference between hearing aids and PSAPs
PSAPs, or personal sound amplification products, are actually quite different from hearing aids, and in our opinion cannot deliver the same benefits as properly fit hearing aids can.
You see, PSAPs of off-the-shelf products that really only offer one benefit: amplification. While amplification (the increase in volume) is an important aspect of improving hearing, it is just one small part of how audiology experts help you hear your best.
Today’s hearing aids can be digitally programmed to match precisely to your audiogram. Your audiogram shows us providers what frequencies you’re having trouble hearing. Instead of just making things louder, we “tell” your devices to adapt when and where your hearing needs assistance.
Some devices, when paired with certain smartphone apps, even use geolocation technology to automatically adapt to different listening environments, depending on your preferences. For instance, your hearing needs might be slightly different in a crowded restaurant vs. your place of worship or your best friend’s house. PSAPs can’t even begin to accommodate this level of flexibility.
Another word of caution about PSAPs: If not used properly, they can actually damage your hearing. Continuous amplification may further harm your hearing. PSAPs are not regulated by the FDA and most trusted hearing care providers and audiologists — including us at Colorado Ear Care — recommend against them vs. a properly fit hearing aid.
The hearing care professionals at Colorado Ear Care are here for you!
The Colorado Ear Care team has devoted itself to providing you the best testing, patient care, and treatment options available. We make it our priority to spend the time you deserve to truly understand your hearing concerns, provide comprehensive testing, and present you with a spectrum of treatment options designed to improve your situation while reflecting what you’re comfortable investing.
If you’re ready to have the hearing care experience you deserve, then contact Colorado Ear Care today. We’d be honored to serve you!