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Clearing Up Misconceptions Before You Get Hearing Aids

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People who get hearing aids are often surprised by how different the experience is from what they expected. Of course, you'll never fully know what it's like to wear hearing aids until you get your own. However, there are a few misconceptions about hearing aids floating around, and clearing up those misconceptions can help reduce the surprise you experience when you do get your own hearing aids.

Misconception: You'll only get one hearing aid.

If you only have hearing loss in one ear, then you'll only get one hearing aid. But if you have hearing loss in both ears, then you will be given two hearing aids. Years ago, practitioners used to prescribe only one hearing aid even if the hearing loss was in both ears sometimes, but this is no longer seen as the best option. Having two hearing aids helps improve your awareness of where noises are coming from, and it makes it easier to distinguish the sounds you're listening to from the background noise.

Misconception: Hearing aids are all obvious and bulky.

If you think the statement above is true, then you're probably picturing a style of hearing aid known as the "behind the ear" or BTE hearing aid. This style is pretty bulky and obvious. But the good news is that BTE hearing aids are only one kind of hearing aid. There are also in-ear hearing aids, which are much less obvious. Nobody will see them unless they look really closely. Almost all patients are now candidates for this style of hearing aid. 

Misconception: Hearing aids will restore your sense of hearing to what it used to be.

Hearing aids do allow you to hear when your natural hearing has become impaired. However, the sounds you'll hear through hearing aids are a bit different from the sounds you heard naturally. When sounds come through a hearing aid, they are often a little more muffled, and they may sound like they're coming from a speaker. This can take a little time to get used to, but patients do get used to it. Wearing your hearing aid for a few hours at a time, staying in quieter spaces, and talking out loud to yourself can help you adapt.

With these misconceptions pushed out of the way, you're more ready than ever to get your own hearing aids. A doctor or practitioner can give you more precise guidelines for using the hearing aids and getting used to them.