Hearing loss can occur at any age but tends to happen more frequently as we get older. Age-related hearing loss is an increasingly prevalent health condition among the senior population. Hearing loss affects around 40% of adults between the ages of 55 and 74 years old. Within this age range, it is estimated that roughly 80% of the people who are experiencing hearing loss and could benefit from hearing aids have never used them. On top of that, many of the people that have hearing aids and should be wearing them daily don’t even use them. So, why is there such an illogical objection to wearing hearing aids?
Common Reasons for Refusing to Wear Hearing Aids
There are a wide variety of excuses and baseless arguments for why such a high percentage of people that could benefit from hearing aids are resistant to them. Often, people who need hearing aids feel the devices are:
- Too expensive
- Too young or too old
- Prone to feedback
- High maintenance
There Is Nothing Wrong With My Hearing
Many seniors claim they don’t need hearing aids because there is nothing wrong with their hearing. That is one of the complicated issues surrounding hearing loss. Because the problem develops slowly over time, it can be difficult to realize it is happening. People with hearing loss tend to make all kinds of adjustments and accommodations, in effect becoming enablers for their own problem. It often takes steady convincing from a friend or loved one to address the issue.
While this may be a valid argument, can a price be put on health and independence? It is not like buying a flashy new car on a whim, it is an investment in health and wellbeing. Being able to live an independent lifestyle, carry out daily routines, and comfortably participate in social interaction is invaluable. There are always payment plans that can be worked out to accommodate.
Just like with a new pair of shoes or glasses, it takes a while to get used to them. All-day wear during waking hours is highly recommended, not just to get used to the feel but also to how they operate. The process of retraining your brain to interpret sounds that have gone undetected for so long can take time. A positive attitude is a huge advantage for overcoming these obstacles.
In our ageist society, no one wants to admit they are getting old even though it is an unavoidable certainty. Wearing hearing aids does not represent weakness, it shows you are interested in your health and taking control of your life. Plus, hearing aid technology has come a long way and some devices are barely visible.
Too Young or Too Old
Another surprising and irrational excuse is claiming to be too young or too old for hearing aids. Hearing loss does not discriminate and it is never too late to get assistance and treatment.
The belief that hearing aids don’t really work or do what they are supposed to can also be used to justify avoiding them. This may be based on an invented fabrication, or perhaps an experience with a cheap mail-order device they might have had. Either way, the notion is inaccurate. Hearing aids have proven to be extremely effective for restoring hearing capability for a wide range of individuals.
Prone to Feedback
This may have been a problem with early hearing aid devices, but these days hearing aid feedback has been virtually eliminated. Properly fitted hearing aids greatly reduce the risk of feedback or echo from the device.
The idea that hearing aids are too much hassle is a pretty weak argument against improving your hearing capacity. While the initial adjustment period may take some time, effort, and commitment, keep in mind it is only temporary. Once the growing pains have been conquered, the benefits to be enjoyed in daily life are often significant and deeply meaningful.