But, I Don't Need a Hearing Aid...
Hearing loss can be the result of genetics, advancing age, prolonged noise, and many other factors. And it is a lot more common than you might think!
In fact, more than twenty-five million people in the U.S. alone have trouble hearing. The vast majority could certainly benefit from wearing a hearing aid. Yet many are hesitant to do it. Why are so many people reluctant to get a solution that will almost certainly improve their lives? It helps to understand the reasons and the solutions.
#1 reason people resist using a hearing aid - 'I am not old enough for a hearing aid...'
It is easy to associate hearing loss with old age. But it is certainly not an exclusive relationship. In fact, sixty five percent of people who have trouble hearing are younger than sixty five - and many are in their forty's and fifty's. A lot of the resistance from this age group comes from the 'look' of hearing aids. (I do not want people to notice it. What will my co-workers or clients think?) Fortunately, there are many hearing aids available now that sit discreetly behind the ear. They can be very tiny, practically invisible, yet very effective for adults of all ages and levels of activity.
#2 reason people resist using a hearing aid - 'Maybe I miss a few words, but it is no big deal...'
Often, people just do not realize themselves that they have trouble hearing. They blame the volume on the television for being too low, or just think that people mumble. If they do recognize a loss of hearing, they may not think it will make much of a change in their lives. However, even mild hearing loss affects not just the person in question, but all the people who surround them. Sometimes it takes a friendly reminder (or a personal realization) that friends and family are the ones who have to repeat themselves, deal with a loud TV, or miss out on enjoyable conversations.
#3 reason people resist using a hearing aid - 'It is really expensive...'
Cost is a very legitimate issue when it comes to hearing aids. Traditional hearing aids from Beltone, Widex, and other brands are extremely expensive, costing up to $3200 a piece. Fortunately, alternatives are starting to appear on the market. For example, the HearAid Company offers a medical-quality hearing aid starting at just $299; the low cost is achieved by eliminating fitting and configuring by expensive professionals.
#4 reason people resist using a hearing aid - 'I just do not want to wear one...'
We have already touched on the issues of appearance and perceptions of age or disability. One real concern for people who do not choose to get a hearing aid is withdrawal. Not hearing well often causes individuals to avoid social situations, remove themselves from conversations, and become isolated. Not only does this take away many positive aspects of life, it actually contributes to depression and negative personal feelings.
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