Hearing Aids

When should you start wearing hearing aids? Is it OK to wait a few more years? Get answers to these important questions here.

Why it’s important to wear hearing aids if you need them

If you sometimes think ‘do I need hearing aids?’ or ‘when should I start wearing hearing aids’, we have some information that will help. The facts below come from the Better Hearing Institute, a USA-based organisation that conducts research and engages in hearing health education to help people with hearing loss benefit from proper treatment.

  • People who wear hearing aids to correct their hearing loss enjoy a better quality of life than those who let hearing loss go untreated.
  • Several studies have linked untreated hearing loss to an increased risk of developing age-related dementia. The decline appears to be greatest for people who don’t wear hearing aids to correct hearing loss.
  • Research also shows that treating hearing loss with hearing aids may slow the cognitive decline associated with hearing loss.
  • A study from the University of Pennsylvania shows that reduced hearing loss accelerates atrophy in the auditory areas of the brain, making speech understanding more difficult. So the less you hear, the less you hear.
  • Hearing aids help decrease auditory atrophy while increasing hearing ability.
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) often accompanies hearing loss. Wearing the latest hearing aids can significantly reduce the annoyance of tinnitus.

When should you start wearing hearing aids?

You should start wearing hearing aids when your audiologist says they will be of benefit to you.

People with hearing loss are often reluctant to get help. On average they wait up to seven years before they get the hearing aids they need. During that time, their hearing worsens and they become less-connected to family and friends. One of the major reasons for this reluctance is the stigma of wearing a visible hearing device.

If you’ve been putting off getting hearing aids because of the way they look, the RIC (receiver in canal) devices we offer on this site are the solution you’ve been waiting for. They are close to invisible and comfortable to wear; a far cry from the clunky apparatus of yesteryear.

A quick history of hearing aids

Back in the 17th century, ear trumpets were the gold standard for hearing assistance. They were portable and often quite effective, but not exactly a fashion statement. Hearing fans and speaking tubes used the same principles of amplification.

The first electronic hearing aids were created following the invention of the telephone in 1876. They were bulky and not particularly portable. From the 1930s onward, hearing aid technology steadily improved. The invention of the transistor in 1948 was a huge step forward.

Digital hearing aids that used microcomputers began to emerge in the 1980s. The first examples were heavy and hard to wear, however by the mid-1990s there were light, almost-invisible models available.

More recently, ReSound was the first hearing aid producer to introduce digital devices that can stream phone calls, music and television audio. Hearing aids have evolved from simple amplifiers to highly-sophisticated audio devices that connect people to every useful source of sound.

Brand Comparison Chart

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At the The Hearing Heroes our Audiologist has put together this chart to give you a simple visual indication of how the different levels of technology for the different hearing aid brands compare. We have grouped the technology into 3 broad bands called Premium, Advanced and Value. Each brand and model varies so this is intended to be an indicative chart to help you compare the Hearing Aids you're considering from The Hearing Heroes to others you may have seen. The grey background shows brands and models that we don't offer.