Serving Patients in Maryland and Delaware
What Is Keeping Women from Getting the Hearing Aids They Need?
You’ve tried to convince your mother to get a hearing device for years now. It’s usually a friendly suggestion, but occasionally it’s a demand (out of frustration), and sometimes it’s downright begging, all because you want her to be able to hear the sounds around her. The excuses vary, but the result is the same: no dice. Why can’t she see that a hearing aid is the best thing for her—and for everyone around her?
5 Reasons Women Resist Getting Hearing Aids
Women have particular concerns when it comes to hearing devices. In most cases, the reason they fear hearing aids is due to common misconceptions, which can keep them from living longer, fuller lives. The most common reasons women resist wearing hearing aids include:
- Looking “old.” Cosmetic concerns are the number one reason women give for refusing hearing treatment. Many see a hearing device as the mark of an “old” person, and fear the judgment of others and loss of feeling attractive and young. However, many women who forgo hearing correction are forced to ask relatives to repeat themselves and suffer from early onset dementia—factors that are much more likely to make them seem “old.” In addition, there are many devices that fit completely inside the ear, giving patients the full benefits of hearing restoration with no changes to their appearance.
- Going to the doctor. As people age, they tend to fear going to the doctor’s office more and more—and it doesn’t help that the need for medical care rises with each passing year. People who are afraid of doctors are likely to skip appointments that aren’t mandatory, with screening appointments (such as health checks and hearing tests) the first to go. Unfortunately, studies have shown that an untreated hearing condition can lead to serious health problems, including isolation, depression, and even Alzheimer’s disease. A visit to a hearing professional for a pain-free exam is a small price to pay to avoid ill health down the road.
- Negative reviews. Nearly all seniors know someone with a hearing aid, or knew someone with a device that didn’t work for them, and have instinctively formed negative opinions (“My friend had a hearing aid, and she hated it, so she never wore it!”). In some cases, these interactions happened years or even decades ago, and have little bearing on the devices in today’s market. Hearing aids have come a long way in both appearance and performance, so you should encourage your loved one to give them a try before deciding against them. Many people who never wanted a hearing aid are soon swayed when they discover that the lightweight devices can connect to their televisions, phones, or computers.
- Cost concerns. It’s true: hearing aids are not cheap. However, there are many ways to lessen the costs to make the devices more affordable. For instance, insurance plans often cover the cost of hearing testing, so understanding the effects of hearing loss and finding out which device you should need will cost nothing. When it comes time to finance a device, many providers offer monthly payment options, offer lower prices on refurbished hearing aids, or can recommend additional services (such as Veteran’s Administration benefits) that can greatly reduce the cost to patients.
- Lifestyle changes. Some older people are resistant to change, even if that change is for the better. While a hearing aid may mean a change in the way you do things, it will also give you more autonomy: you’ll be able to live alone longer, drive longer, and hold on to friendships and attend social gatherings without fear. Imagine your first hearing aid like your first pair of eyeglasses: you may have resisted the idea at first, but now you wear them every day and hardly give them a second thought. After a few months, most people find that the benefits of hearing aids far outweigh the negatives.
Are you ready to see what you have been missing? We offer one-on-one hearing examinations for all of our patients, making it easy for them to get the personalized treatment they need. Call the number on this page today to set up an appointment with one of our hearing care specialists!