At times, it seems like we prefer to mislead ourselves. Wikipedia has an entry named “List of common misconceptions” that consists of hundreds of universally-held but false beliefs. Yes, I know it’s Wikipedia, but take a look at the bottom of the page and you’ll see approximately 385 references to credible sources.

For example, did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb? Or that sugar does not in reality make kids hyperactive? There are plenty of examples of beliefs that we just assume to be correct, but from time to time, it’s a good idea to reexamine what we think we know.

For many of us, it’s time to reevaluate what we think we know about hearing aids. Almost all myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are based on the issues connected with the outdated analog hearing aid models. But considering that the majority of hearing aids are now digital, those concerns are a thing of the past.

So how current is your hearing aid knowledge? Read below to see if any of the top 5 myths are preventing you or someone you know from getting a hearing aid.

The Top 5 Myths About Hearing Aids

Myth # 1: Hearing aids are not effective because some people have had bad experiences.

Reality: To begin with, hearing aids have been demonstrated to be to be highly effective. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association comparing the performance of three popular styles of hearing aids concluded that:

Each [hearing aid] circuit markedly improved speech recognition, with greater improvement observed for soft and conversationally loud speech….All 3 circuits significantly reduced the frequency of problems encountered in verbal communication….Each circuit provided significant benefit in quiet and noisy listening situations.

On top of that, since the release of this research, hearing aid technology has continued to get better. So the question is not whether hearing aids perform well — the question is whether you have the right hearing aid for your hearing loss, professionally programmed based on to your preferences by a trained professional.

Negative experiences are most likely the result of purchasing the wrong hearing aid, buying hearing aids online, consulting the wrong individual, or not having the hearing aids customized and professionally programmed.

Myth # 2: Hearing aids are big, bulky, and unattractive.

Reality: This one is rather easy to disprove. Just perform a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll discover several examples of sleek and colorful models from numerous producers.

Also, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are virtually or fully unseen when worn. The newer, stylish designs, however, compel some patients to go with the slightly bigger hearing aid models to showcase the technology.

Myth # 3: Hearing aids are too expensive.

Reality: Today, some flat screen televisions with ultra-high definition curved glass retail for $8,000 or more. But this doesn’t make us say that “all TVs are too expensive.”

Just like television sets, hearing aids range in cost dependent on performance and features. While you may not want — or need — the top of the line hearing aids, you can probably find a pair that matches your needs, preferences, and finances. Also take into account that, as is the scenario with all consumer electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable every year, and that the value of healthier hearing and a better life is usually well worth the cost.

Myth # 4: You can save time and money buying hearing aids online.

Reality: Remember myth # 1 that alleged that hearing aids are not effective? Well, it was very likely brought about by by this myth. Like we stated before, hearing aids have been proven to be effective, but the one caveat to that statement has always been that hearing aids have to be programmed by a professional to assure performance.

You wouldn’t dare purchase a pair of prescription glasses on the web without contacting your eye doctor because your glasses need to be tailored according to the unique characteristics of your vision loss. Buying hearing aids is no different.

Sure, visiting a hearing specialist is more costly, but look at what you receive for the price: you can be certain that you get the right hearing aid with the right fitting and settings, together with follow-up care, adjustments, cleanings, instructions, repair services, and more. It’s well worth it.

Myth # 5: Hearing aids are uncomfortable and complicated to operate.

Reality: If this makes reference to analog hearing aids, then yes, it is generally true. The thing is, virtually all hearing aids are now digital.

Digital hearing aids dynamically process sound with a tiny computer chip so that you don’t have to be concerned about manual adjustments; in addition, some digital hearing aids can even be controlled through your cellphone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being designed with optimum ease-of-use in mind.

Your hearing specialist can also construct a custom mold for your hearing aids, providing a comfortable and suitable fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will likely be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the shape of your ear.