By Ed Bower, President, Zounds Hearing of Mason, Ohio
The biggest obstacle for most people with wearing hearing aids is getting them to come in for a hearing test. Below are some common excuses folks will give to do nothing about their losses and answers you can provide.
Excuse #1: I can hear just fine.
How do you know? Have you had your hearing tested recently (or ever)? Hearing tests are free, and a reputable hearing dealer will not sell you hearing aids if you do not need them. After age 50, adults should have their hearing tested every year, just like most do with medical physicals.
Excuse #2: My hearing is not that bad. I can turn up the volume on my television if I need to.
Hearing worsens over time. Your hearing can deteriorate without realizing that you are just turning the volume up more and more each day. Chances are, loud noises are what caused your loss in the first place. Treating hearing loss sooner rather than later insures that the loss will not get worse.
Excuse #3: I am too young to need them. They will make me look old.
Hearing loss can develop at any age, but listening to loud music (especially using hearing buds) will hasten the loss. Modern hearing aids are much smaller than those of the past. Behind the ear aids are practically invisible and those with a receiver in the hearing canal are fully invisible.
Excuse #4: I am too old to benefit from them.
Regardless of your age you still have a lot of life to enjoy. Hearing loss has been linked to illnesses like dementia (including Alzheimer’s) and diabetes. Further, as balance depends on the inner ear, the risk of falling and incurring a serious injury is increased. Finally, the social isolation of not being able to participate in conversation can lead to depression.
Excuse #5: I can’t afford them.
Hearing aids are an investment. You are investing in your health, your social life, your work life and your leisure activities. Further, in Ohio (and most other states), by law, you have a period of time to return and get your money back, less a fitting or restocking fee, if you are not satisfied for any reason. You can also finance them interest-free over time.
Excuse #6: I bought hearing aids before, and they didn’t work.
In order for hearing aids to work properly, they have to be fitted properly and adjusted for each person’s loss. If you bought your aids online without being fitted, you have never had them adjusted. Also, you may have purchased an amplifier rather than a hearing aid with the result that all noises are magnified, not just those you can’t hear otherwise. If you come in for a hearing test, you can try on the hearing aids before you buy them.
Excuse #7: I don’t want to mess with them.
You can easily and automatically adjust your hearing aids to whatever environment you encounter. Like any new habit, you will have an adjustment period, but once you get past it, you will find that they are easy to work with.
Excuse #8: They are ugly. They are huge!
These aren’t your grandfather’s hearing aids. They are much smaller and harder for anyone else to detect. Come in, examine them, try them on while looking in the mirror, and find out that this argument is no longer viable. Unless you tell someone you are wearing them, they will never know.
Excuse #9: They squeal back at me.
You are talking about feedback. Modern aids can be adjusted to eliminate such feedback.
Excuse #10: Insurance won’t help pay for them.
While sometimes true, many insurance plans do cover hearing aids. This is especially true for “Cadillac” plans offered by some companies to their employees and retirees. Also, some Medicare supplement plans offer coverage. We can call your insurance company while you are being tested. If you have a health care spending or savings account, the amounts you set aside tax-free can be used to pay for your hearing aids.