March 19, 2024
3 minute read

5 myths you may have heard about hearing aids

Roughly 15% of American adults (over 40 million people) report having a hard time hearing. While there’s no way to restore hearing, hearing aids can help you make the most of the hearing you do have. So why don’t more people use them?

Some people think hearing aids are too big or that they cost a lot of money. But these ideas are often tied to older models. Newer hearing aids have come a long way. And by boosting your hearing, they can help protect your brain while making life easier to navigate.

Here are 5 hearing aid myths, busted.

Need to get your hearing checked? Health insurance may cover that. Explore your plan options now, or contact a licensed insurance agent at (800) 827-9990.

Myth 1: Hearing aids are big and bulky.

Today’s hearing aids aren’t like the ones your grandparents may have worn. In fact, you’ve probably met people who wear them and didn’t even notice. You can usually find hearing aids with the speaker and tubing well-hidden behind and against the ear.

Plus, today’s hearing aids often come in colors that match your skin tone or hair color. That makes them even less noticeable, says Sarah Lundstrom, Au.D. She’s an audiologist with HearCare Audiology in Venice, Florida. (An audiologist is a health care professional who can evaluate, diagnose, treat and manage hearing loss and balance disorders.)

With their smaller profiles and better designs, today’s hearing aids are far less noticeable than even a common pair of wireless earbuds.

Myth 2: Only older adults need hearing aids.

Yes, rates of hearing loss increase with age. By the time people are in their 50s, more than a quarter have some hearing loss. And 68% of people in their 70s have some form of hearing loss, as do 90% of people in their 80s.

But for many people, the problem begins earlier in life. For younger adults, the problem often stems from loud headphones and concerts. One recent study found that, worldwide, about a billion young adults are at risk of hearing loss.

There are also other non-age-related factors. “Noise exposure, environment, genetics and overall health play a large role,” says Lundstrom.

If you have doubts about your hearing, it’s a good idea to get an evaluation from an audiologist or an ear, nose and throat specialist. That’s true at any age. And it’s especially true if you have a chronic health condition such as diabetes or heart disease, or a family history of hearing loss, says Lundstrom.

Living with a chronic condition? There may be health plans available to fit your needs. Learn more now, or call a licensed insurance agent at (800) 827-9990 to discuss your options.

Myth 3: Hearing aids just make things louder.

Modern hearing aids aren’t just amplifiers. They’re more like computers with tiny microphones and speakers.

When sound waves come in, the hearing aid converts them into code. This provides information about the pitch and source of the noise. From there, the computer can do things like raise the volume of the conversation while quieting other distracting sounds.

While they won’t cancel background noise completely, “they can provide a much-needed boost in speech clarity,” says Lundstrom.

With the help of an audiologist, hearing aids can even be tailored to your ears. They can amplify only the frequencies you have the hardest time hearing. “This means sounds in the ranges where your hearing is worse will have more amplification than ranges where you have better hearing,” says Lundstrom.

Myth 4: Hearing aids cost a fortune.

Yes, prescription hearing aids can be pricey. They start at about $2,000. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend that much on them.

First, check with your insurance company. While most plans do not cover hearing aids, some may provide coverage or discounts for hearing aids. You can find out if yours is one of them by contacting your insurer.

If not, consider your local drug store. In 2022, the government approved the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids. That dramatically reduced the cost. (Prices may vary, depending on where you live and what store you shop at, so it’s a good idea to compare prices before buying them.)

Unlike prescription models, over-the-counter hearing aids are available in stores or online. And you don’t have to visit a doctor or audiologist to start using them.

Myth 5: Ears are always a better option than hearing aids.

Hearing loss is not reversible. Once it begins, your hearing will likely continue to decline slowly over time, says Lundstrom.

But by using hearing aids, you may actually slow the rate of loss. “Think of your brain like a muscle,” says Lundstrom. “Hearing aids are like a personal trainer designed to keep the auditory center of your brain at optimal fitness.”

The sooner you start to use hearing aids, the less loss you’ll have, she says. That will improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of cognitive problems down the road.

Need a health plan for you or your family? Contact a licensed insurance agent at (800) 827-9990, or explore your options now.

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* Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, and Part D options can be explored.

We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov, 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program to get information on all of your options.

To send a complaint to Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1- 877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week). If your complaint involves a broker or agent, be sure to include the name of the person when filing your grievance.

Attention: This website is operated by HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. and is not the Health Insurance Marketplace® website. HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. is licensed as an insurance agency nationwide except in MA. Not all agents are licensed to sell all products. Service and product availability varies by state. Sales agents may be compensated based on a consumer’s enrollment in an insurance plan. No obligation to enroll. Agent cannot provide tax or legal advice. Contact your tax or legal professional to discuss details regarding your individual business circumstances. Our quoting tool is provided for your information only. All quotes are estimates and are not final until consumer is enrolled. Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

HealthMarkets Insurance Agency offers the opportunity to enroll in either QHPs or off-Marketplace coverage. Please visit HealthCare.gov for information on the benefits of enrolling in a QHP. Off-Marketplace coverage is not eligible for the cost savings offered for coverage through the Marketplaces.

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Call the Plan’s customer service phone number for more information.

50652-HM-0324

© 2023 HealthMarkets Insurance Agency. All rights reserved.

* Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, and Part D options can be explored.

We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov, 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program to get information on all of your options.

To send a complaint to Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1- 877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week). If your complaint involves a broker or agent, be sure to include the name of the person when filing your grievance.

Attention: This website is operated by HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. and is not the Health Insurance Marketplace® website. HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. is licensed as an insurance agency nationwide except in MA. Not all agents are licensed to sell all products. Service and product availability varies by state. Sales agents may be compensated based on a consumer’s enrollment in an insurance plan. No obligation to enroll. Agent cannot provide tax or legal advice. Contact your tax or legal professional to discuss details regarding your individual business circumstances. Our quoting tool is provided for your information only. All quotes are estimates and are not final until consumer is enrolled. Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

HealthMarkets Insurance Agency offers the opportunity to enroll in either QHPs or off-Marketplace coverage. Please visit HealthCare.gov for information on the benefits of enrolling in a QHP. Off-Marketplace coverage is not eligible for the cost savings offered for coverage through the Marketplaces.

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Call the Plan’s customer service phone number for more information.

50652-HM-0324

© 2023 HealthMarkets Insurance Agency. All rights reserved.

* Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, and Part D options can be explored.

We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov, 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program to get information on all of your options.

To send a complaint to Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1- 877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week). If your complaint involves a broker or agent, be sure to include the name of the person when filing your grievance.

Attention: This website is operated by HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. and is not the Health Insurance Marketplace® website. HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. is licensed as an insurance agency nationwide except in MA. Not all agents are licensed to sell all products. Service and product availability varies by state. Sales agents may be compensated based on a consumer’s enrollment in an insurance plan. No obligation to enroll. Agent cannot provide tax or legal advice. Contact your tax or legal professional to discuss details regarding your individual business circumstances. Our quoting tool is provided for your information only. All quotes are estimates and are not final until consumer is enrolled. Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

HealthMarkets Insurance Agency offers the opportunity to enroll in either QHPs or off-Marketplace coverage. Please visit HealthCare.gov for information on the benefits of enrolling in a QHP. Off-Marketplace coverage is not eligible for the cost savings offered for coverage through the Marketplaces.

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Call the Plan’s customer service phone number for more information.

50652-HM-0324