Hearing loss affects one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 and one in two people over age 75, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.1 But it’s a misconception that hearing loss only affects older people; one in five teenagers experiences some degree of hearing loss, reports the Hearing Loss Association of America.2
This is significant, as left untreated, hearing loss can lead to social isolation, anxiety, depression, falls, and even dementia. But despite this, only 20% of people who could benefit from hearing aids actually wear them.3
One reason for not getting hearing aids we hear a lot at Hearing Focused is that “hearing aids will make me look old.” But consider this: What makes you look older? Wearing a hearing aid or constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves and giving inappropriate responses because you misheard?
It’s surprising that there is so much stigma around wearing hearing aids, given that we don’t give eyeglasses the same treatment, even though both are used to treat a sensory loss.
Also, hearing aids aren’t the clunky devices your parents and grandparents once wore. They are designed with aesthetics in mind, and most models are small and sleek. Some models could be mistaken for a pair of wireless earbuds, and others are so tiny and sit so deep within the ear canal that they are nearly invisible!
Today’s hearing aids, despite their size, are essentially tiny computers that boast amazing features such as:
- Bluetooth® compatibility
- Smartphone connectivity
- Automatic programming
- Background noise reduction
- Directional microphones
We may not know what the future holds in terms of whether hearing aids will ever be fashionable, but one thing is for sure—hearing aids are becoming more and more remarkable in terms of their capabilities.
1 Hearing Loss and Older Adults. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-older-adults
2 Hearing Loss Facts and Statistics. Hearing Loss Association of America. https://www.hearingloss.org/wp-content/uploads/HLAA_HearingLoss_Facts_Statistics.pdf
3 Untreated Hearing Loss in Adults. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. https://www.asha.org/articles/untreated-hearing-loss-in-adults/#:~:text=