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The Hearing Aid Stigma: Still?

Hearing aids ain't what they used to be, that's a fact.

Digital and wireless technologies have equipped hearing aid manufacturers to stuff more features into smaller, more discrete hearing aids. Today, using digital circuitry, hearing aid manufacturers create highly-sophisticated hearing computers - intuitive machines that adapt to the listening preferences of the user automatically.

Sound too loud? The volume adjusts automatically. Too soft? A little boost from the low-profile, invisible hearing aid.

How about directional microphones that allow you to hear your dinner companion over the clatter of a noisy bistro? Even today's entry-level hearing aids deliver convenience to simplify the listening process.

Put them in each morning; take them out when you hit the sheets. Throughout the day, today's modern ear computers bring automated convenience to the listening experience.

There are lots of options when it comes to hearing aid types:

Behind-the ear (BTE) hearing aids - are lightweight, rest behind the ear and have become so small and discreet it is hard to notice them when matched to skin or hair color.

Another type of hearing aid is called a RIC (receiver in canal). Once again, discrete, low profile or a splash of color - it's your choice. With these devices, the microphone sits deeper in the ear canal while the unit rests behind the ear.

Today's modern BTEs and RICs hearing aids are nearly invisible. They certainly don't draw attention - unless you want them to. The third type of hearing is custom or in-the-ear hearing aids. Ranging from a completely in the canal (CIC) fit to that of a full shell hearing aid. All custom style hearing aids are molded to your ear's shape.

Overcoming the stigma of hearing aids

27 million Americans experience some degree of hearing loss. That's about one in 10. That number jumps to one in three for the over 65-year-old crowd so you can see that (1) a lot of Americans will be buying hearing aids in the next few years and (2) hearing aid manufacturers will be competing with more features, sleeker designs and lower costs - just like any other electronics.

Stigma should be a thing of the past considering hearing aids today are sophisticated, discreet and innovative. No longer are they big and beige screaming "I'm old"!

Today, you can purchase the look you want, the features that are important to you and the type of hearing aid that best suits your preferences - from low-cost to high-tech, you choose.

So what are you waiting for? Contact a hearing professional today and start to enjoy life the way you used to. Living in a muffled world isn't as much fun or enriching.

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