Hearing Learning Resources

Hearing aid technology is constantly improving, yet many people still have misconceptions based on what hearing aids were like decades ago. Even if you've had trouble with hearing aids in the past, we find that the vast majority of our patients come back to tell us what a difference their new hearing aids are making in their lives. We've been fortunate enough to help patients as hearing aids progressed from analog to digital technology, and we've seen great improvements in every way. So before you assume that hearing aids won't work for you, make sure that you understand what hearing aids are really like.

Below are some misconceptions about hearing aids - click each myth to reveal its corresponding fact!

MYTH: Hearing aids won't really make much of a difference.

There are so many ways that modern hearing aids can be customized to help with your specific hearing loss, far beyond what was available in hearing aids of the past. Analog hearing aids were sometimes not able to do much more than amplify sound; digital hearing aids include noise cancellation to make it easier for you to understand speech even in crowded rooms. As long as you wear your hearing aids, they'll be able to help you hear.

MYTH: Hearing aids are big, bulky, and draw attention to themselves.

All hearing aids are smaller than ever before, and even the larger models are still discreet. Patients tell us that people who have conversations with them often don't notice their hearing aids unless they point their hearing aids out. It's more likely that people will just notice that it's suddenly much easier for you to talk with them.

MYTH: Hearing aids let out loud squeals.

Hearing aids don't squeal unless they are improperly fitted or improperly inserted. Because we are so good at making custom-fit hearing aids, and because we are so dedicated to making sure our patients are confident putting in their hearing aids, we've all but eradicated the risk of squealing.

MYTH: Hearing aid batteries are hard to change.

Modern hearing aids are designed to be easy to use. An audio alert will let you know when it's time to change your batteries, and the devices themselves are easier than ever before to open and handle, so you can switch out your batteries and get back to hearing the world. If you wish to avoid changing batteries altogether, there are also rechargeable models available.

MYTH: Hearing aids will damage my hearing, or I'll become dependent on them.

Properly fitted hearing aids are calibrated to help you hear without risking any additional damage to your ear. They offer many benefits and no danger. Also, your ears and your brain won't become dependent on them to hear — it's just that once patients have realized how much they're missing without hearing aids, they generally don't want to go without their hearing aids again if they can help it. (That's one reason why we try so hard to complete repairs in-house so patients can get their hearing aids back on the same day without any interruption in their hearing.)

MYTH: I can just buy hearing aids online or in a store.

While hearing aids are available to be purchased without the help of a hearing aid specialist, hearing aids are more like prescription glasses than reading glasses. Your individual hearing loss is unique, and to truly make the most of your hearing aids, you'll need to have them personalized to suit your hearing loss. Also, if you're interested in in-the-ear or in-the-canal hearing aids that require a custom fit, it's best to purchase these from a specialist who is able to fit them comfortably and effectively.

What Is Hearing Loss?

A woman learning about hearing loss

There are three types of hearing loss: sensorineural hearing loss (damage to the hearing nerve), conductive hearing loss (the sound is blocked), and mixed hearing loss (a combination of the two). Sensorineural loss is often treated by hearing aids, and it can be caused by many different factors, including exposure to loud noises, illness, or aging. Conductive hearing loss usually requires some sort of medical treatment.

Hearing loss is not a one-size-fits-all problem, which is why it's so important that a hearing aid specialist fit you properly with hearing aids that address your personal hearing needs. Hearing loss ranges from mild to profound, and the severity of your hearing loss will affect what hearing options are available for you. Not all hearing loss can be addressed by hearing aids. In some cases, we may need to refer you to a doctor for medical treatment. A thorough hearing examination will let us understand the cause of your hearing loss and how it can be treated.

Sometimes you're able to hear sounds but you can't understand what's being said. When that happens, it means that you're missing parts of the words because your hearing loss affects some frequencies more than others. Therefore, you aren't able to hear certain syllables or sounds, giving you an incomplete picture of what's been said. When you have your speech and hearing test, we'll show you exactly what parts you're missing so you better understand your own hearing loss.

Getting Your Hearing Checked

A woman getting her hearing checked with an otoscope

If you have any doubt at all about your hearing, it's worth having your hearing tested. Even if there's no hearing loss, you'll have a free baseline for the future. But it's important that you stay connected to the world around you, so if you do have hearing loss, getting treated sooner rather than later will let you maintain those connections. As your hearing gets worse, you may start withdrawing from the social activities that make you happy, which can directly affect your quality of life and increase your stress and feelings of loneliness — factors that can make you more susceptible to some diseases. Protect your hearing, treat your hearing loss with a hearing aid if necessary, and continue to get the most out of your life for years to come.

You may expect that your regular physician would let you know if your hearing needed to be tested, but the truth is that general practice physicians are often too busy checking your health in other ways. Unless you've specifically asked them about your hearing, they may not think to test your hearing. If you suspect you may have hearing loss, even if your general practitioner hasn't brought it up, you should still have a professional hearing evaluation.

New Hearing Aid Advice

A grandmother reading with her grandchild

Losing your hearing is generally a gradual process, so you may not even have noticed what you're missing. When we give patients hearing aids for the first time, we ease them into their full prescription so they can get used to hearing a full range of sounds again. Don't expect your hearing to go right back to how it used to be — be patient, and especially be patient with yourself. It will take some time for you to adapt to hearing sounds like the refrigerator or the creaking of your floors.

One of the most common complaints we hear is that patients say their voice sounds different. Generally that is because they're hearing their voice amplified for the first time. If you've ever heard your voice recorded before, you know how different it can sound from the outside; your amplified voice heard through hearing aids is a lot like that. Be patient and give yourself a chance to adjust. If you keep wearing your hearing aids, you'll eventually become accustomed to your voice and how you sound now. Your brain will automatically figure it out and start tuning out the sound of your voice. Just as your brain will eventually stop noticing regular sounds, like the chiming of a grandfather clock in your house, it will also tune out your voice once you're accustomed to the new sound.

Make Your Appointment Now!

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Greenville Location

1208 Augusta St.
Greenville, SC 29605

(864) 242-3995

Travelers Rest Location

6 South Poinsett Hwy
Travelers Rest, SC 29690

(866) 869-5061

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1208 Augusta St.
Greenville, SC 29605
(864) 242-3995
6 South Poinsett Hwy
Travelers Rest, SC 29690
(866) 869-5061
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