Why Do Hearing Aids Have Such a Bad Rep?
Everyone remembers our parent’s and our grandparent’s hearing aids. They were big old beige things that filled the ear and seemed to whistle (feedback) all the time. Hearing aid users would constantly complain that all they heard was background noise and not the people they wanted to hear. People waited until they couldn’t put it off any longer or their families were pushing them through the door to get aids. Naturally, when you wait that long, you are usually in your senior years. The truth is that those old analog hearing aids did have all those problems.
Today’s devices are “light-years” away from that old standard. Newer digital technology allows us to customize aids for both comfort and clarity. Feedback management circuitry in all aids practically makes whistling a problem of the past. Noise reduction circuity helps people carry on conversations in the presence of background noise while still hearing the natural world around you. As far as cosmetics, there are so many options available including the RIC (receiver in canal) hearing aids which only has a very thin wire that is visible and the IIC (invisible in the canal) which is totally housed within your ear canal.
As far as hearing loss being associated with old age, well…just not true anymore. People of all ages are being fitted with aids. Younger people especially like the flexibility and style of the newer technology. Nowadays, you can listen to music, TV, books on tape and all sorts of media through your aids.
So when you think of today’s hearing aids, don’t think about the old aids, which were kind of the equivalent of a cassette player. Think about all the greatest technology now available—more like streaming music straight to your ears. How fun is that!