When is the right time to buy hearing aids?

When is the right time to buy hearing aids?

Well, the short answer is “as soon as you realize you are not hearing everything around you.”  That is the time to talk to your hearing specialist, get a hearing test, and decide on a plan of action.

However, for many, the decision is not so simple.  First, for some it takes some time to realize he or she is not hearing everything.  Something that the things you miss are missed.  People do not quickly realize that they are no longer hearing the birds, the squirrels in the trees, or the dog’s nails on the floor.

Other things may be more obvious.  Having to ask people to repeat themselves.  Noting that the TV volume is at number 40, or higher.

Then there is the stigma.  For many, wearing hearing aids makes you the old fuddy-duddy.  Why?  No one thinks twice if you wear glasses.  What is the difference, really? They are both assistive devices for our senses.  Why can’t hearing aids be just as much a fashion statement as eyeglasses?

It is no secret that the Baby Boomers are aging.  As a group, the Baby Boomers have had a large impact on many areas of the US economy.  Aging issues will be no different.  They are demanding that changes be made.  You may have read about over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids.

Boomers and others want good hearing aids at a price that is affordable.  Unfortunately, price can be a barrier for people getting the equipment they need to live fully.  Medicare and most insurance companies do not cover the cost of hearing aids these days.

Over-The-Counter (OTC) hearing aids are fine—if you have made that decision.  What if you are not there yet?  What if you are not ready to “look old”?  I would posit that people make themselves “look old” by repeatedly asking people what they just said.  Even worse, failing to participate in the conversation at all.  Millions of people suffer with hearing loss and do nothing about it.

The reasons for this are as varied as the people who refuse to wear a hearing aid.  Denial, expense, too large, too visible, uncomfortable, too noisy, too many choices, or they don’t know where to go or where to start.  It can be overwhelming, but we at Hears Hearing & Hearables are ready to help you through the entire process.  We want you to be successful.

The truth is hearing loss is important.  It is not just “I miss a few words” or “So people have to say things twice-no big deal” or “I don’t mind the TV being loud”.  As we all know, your brain plays a large part in the processing of sound.

When your brain has to work harder to make sense of the incomplete or confusing information of sound and speech your brain is getting, other areas in your cortex besides your temporal lobe of your brain have to work harder.  According to some research studies this increases your risk for developing dementia.  Isolating yourself increase that same risk and can also lead to depression.

Try to think of them as glasses for your ears, if that helps.  Help lead the way, so people do not think twice about seeing someone wearing a hearing aid.  Be like the young lady in the commercial for a hepatitis vaccine.  She is on her way to the prom wearing a hot pink dress that matches her hot pink hearing aids.  Be bold.  Take charge of your life and be your own advocate.  Go for the color and with your new hearing aids, you will be ready to hear the compliments.

This article was prompted by reading of a Washington Post story of Nov 5, 2021 by Steven Petrow.