According to The Vision Council, “There are 166.5 million US adults (63.7%) wearing Rx eyeglasses as of 2021.” In contrast, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports, “About 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids”; however, only one in five people who could benefit actually uses one.
These statistics show that wearing glasses is much more common than wearing hearing aids. We review other differences between these two treatments for sensory loss below.
Hearing Aids Don’t Restore “20/20” Hearing
For many people, when they put on a pair of prescription eyeglasses, their vision is essentially restored to 20/20. Unfortunately, the same effect is not achieved by putting in a set of hearing aids.
This is because hearing aids do not actually restore hearing – instead, they amplify sounds to a volume the damaged ears can detect.
Hearing Aids Have an Adjustment Period
With glasses, as soon as you put them on, you can see well. Again, hearing aids are different in that they have an adjustment period.
If you’ve waited a long time to treat your hearing loss, as most people do, your brain will need more time to re-learn how to process certain sounds. For example, it will take time and practice for your brain to focus on your conversation partner’s voice.
Hearing Aids Require Follow-Up Visits
When you leave your ophthalmologist’s office, you probably won’t need to return for a year or two. After visiting an audiologist, plan to come back two or three times over the next several months.
When you get a hearing test, it is in a soundproof booth. These results are what determine the programming of your hearing aids. However, in real-world situations, you may find that you need the programming to be different. This is why follow-up visits are essential: to get the programming just right.
We’re sharing this information not to discourage you from getting hearing aids, but to give you realistic expectations about what the hearing rehabilitation process entails so you can achieve success.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Ear, Nose & Throat Consultants today.