There was a time when having to wear hearing aids carried the stigma of old age and people avoided admitting their need and seeking help for far too long, thus making the problem worse. Today's hearing aids do not make people look old. In fact hearing loss itself is often more noticeable than hearing aids especially with the tiny discreet hearing aid models that are available today. With the miniaturization of components, the tiniest of hearing aids can accommodate greater hearing losses than they could before.
Since not everyone is a candidate for the nearly invisible hearing aids, the manufacturers have definitely made the hearing aids more stylish. The behind-the-ear hearing aids are slimmer and come in colors that blend in with one's hair. Unless a person has a profound hearing loss, the behind the ear hearing aids often go unnoticed.
Most patients that are fit with the newest styles say that their friends and family members do not even see that they have been fit with hearing aids. Often, when a person wears a Receiver-in-the-Ear style hearing aid, I cant see the aid in their ear and I have to ask if they have their hearing aids in. They truly are that unnoticeable.
How the Verso RIE looks when used. (photo courtesy of ReSound)
Think about it. If you always ask others to repeat what they say, if you cup your hand behind your ear to hear the conversation, if you always lean your better ear toward the speaker, and if you are always missing the punch line, don't you think that would be quite noticeable? Not only are these actions far more noticeable than hearing aids, they can be more frustrating and embarrassing too.
By wearing hearing aids you may actually take the attention off your hearing problem. Hearing aids could actually make you feel younger. The benefits of wearing hearing aids are more than better hearing. Hearing aids have been proven to improve ones quality of life. Imagine not having to constantly ask to have things repeated. Imagine not being caught trying to bluff your way through a conversation by pretending to hear and then having to endure the embarrassment.
Jim Silvis, one of our hearing instrument users, says this about his Verso 9 BTE hearing aids:
I'm an older guy and losing my hair regularly. I wear whats left in a shorter style, above the ear. Its very rare, if at all, that people notice my hearing aids. In fact they are often surprised I have them. They noticed quite often in the past when I had to use all the coping mechanisms associated with hearing loss. It irritated more than a few people; especially when I tried to bluff my way through.
The next time you think about your hearing loss and you're afraid of looking old think about how you look when you're struggling to hear and what you no longer enjoy because you cant hear. When you visualize that picture and you don't like what you see, then it is time to schedule a hearing test to see if you can be helped with amplification or medical intervention.
By Susan L. Fenrich, BC-HIS, Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist, Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences
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