Denial isn't just a river in Egypt

I just cannot understand how many people refuse to get tested for hearing loss when it is readily apparent to their significant others and everybody in general that they should. And even when they are dragged metaphorically kicking and screaming to the audiologist and are given the obvious diagnosis refuse to buy hearing aids - even when the aids are mostly covered by insurance.
In some instances when the person’s significant other makes them purchase aids, they sit in a drawer unused.
I speak from personal experience since my wife and I know several people who fit into the aforementioned categories.
And it is just a male macho thang of not wishing to appear weak, since several of these people are female.
Why???

Often it’s because it’s considered a sign of old age and many don’t wish to admit or succumb to getting old and decrepit.

Another reason many end up sitting in a drawer is because quite often they haven’t yet been set up correctly and the wearer cannot stand the awful warbling sounds they now have to hear compared to what they’re used to. Instead of returning to have them re-tuned, they give up and just chuck 'em in a drawer.

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It’s so true. You’ve really got to be dedicated and be willing to learn, understand, and communicate in a very technical realm to get enough out of HAs to continue to use them.

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I think people are often difficult to figure out. In your case, it sounds like you’ve got several people you know who fit your criteria. Why not ask them (in a nonjudgemental way) why they don’t want to try hearing aids. I’ve only seen a reluctance to wear hearing aids rather than a refusal to try. Although it was very frustrating to deal with him, I felt like I understood why he didn’t like wearing his hearing aids. He liked quiet. He was alone most of the time and didn’t like having all the minor sounds amplified. My Mom on the other hand has been remarkably easy. She was reluctant to try hearing aids, but once she did she took right to them. She has no control over them and there have been minimal adjustments (gradual increases in gain) but she’s been pretty reliable about wearing them even though she struggles getting them in sometimes. (She put both of them in one ear once!)
I think personality has a great deal to do with how one deals with hearing loss, willingness to try hearing aids and how satisfied one is with them.

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I have seen the same thing with some of my coworkers who need glasses, and they think that it means they’re ‘getting old’, even though they are having trouble reading tags or computer screens and it is affecting their jobs and every day lives! Glasses don’t make you old, any more than HAs do! You are the same age regardless of whether your eyesight or hearing is any better or worse. With a lot of people I think it may also be a vanity issue.

In my case, I wasn’t in denial but it was that HAs arent’t covered by my insurance (but glasses are and I have worn then since primary school. Not just for old people!) Actually, I don’t think most insurance companies here in the US cover HAs.

The vanity thing is a big thing with both aids and glasses. Also laziness comes to mind. We humans are creatures of habit. Dealing with hearing aids is not part of that habit. It is easy to not put them in every day and that is an easy habit.

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I think there’s also a natural reaction, much stronger in some than in others to dislike being told what to do.

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The other thing that needs to be considered is that unlike glasses, a hearing aid is far from a perfect solution to the problem. While I waited too long to start wearing them, and do wear them 16 hours a day now, I do find some peace and solitude when I take them out at the end of the day. For those with a significant Severe or more, it does make sense to get aids. However, with a lesser loss, that is not impacting on day to day life, I am not sure there is a point where they are a must have.

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This is likely a controversial response, but to me waiting to get hearing aids until “one really needs them,” is like waiting to treat cancer until one’s symptoms are really bothering you. IF one wants to remain socially involved and be able to easily communicate with people, it seems like getting hearing aids as soon as you get any inkling from people that you’re hard to communicate with. If you wait, you’ll likely lose the ability to interpret certain sounds and it will just become harder to get used to hearing aids. I understand why people might want to delay, but personally I think it’s a bad decision, unless of course one doesn’t care about being able to communicate with people.

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Hearing loss is a slow process for most of us, many years usually. How an individual deals with that and the age of that individual also plays a part in how easily one will take to aids. I believe this is why so many people are reluctant to get aids in the first place, not to mention money.

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Yup. Apparently many folks feel that there’s a stigma to bifocals. Jeesh. And remember all the people whose VCR’s flashed 12:00 for that entire era? If they found clock setting more trouble than it was worth then they’re going to be resistant to HAs.

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Another reason hearing aids may end up in a drawer is because of their shortcomings when in background noise, distance and reverb. People are often not told about pairing them with remote microphones or large area listening systems which would bring much more satisfaction.

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Modern hearing aids require a certain amount of technical understanding to even talk to your Audi about getting the fitting correct. I have been wearing aids for 15 years and I am just now getting to understand what they can really do, have been able to work with my Audi to get my aids adjusted correctly so I can finally understand speech and not deal with the background noise. It also requires a lot of work to retrain my brain to accept the change in sounds and the new sounds. I have stayed with the same hear aid company for my last 3 sets of aids and still hear a little different with each new set of aids.
I feel like to wear hearing aids you have to educate yourself on what they can and cannot do. You have to not give up at a drop of the hat. Why pay the price for the aids even is you are paying only a part of the cost I’d you are going to give up with out doing everything possible to get them right. And as I have learned over the years it is also about holding your Audi’ Feet to the fire a long with yours to make it work.

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A Very Simple answer without all the psychobabble, EGO plain and simple. Any reason for not getting tested, buying or wearing hearing aids is just an Excuse.

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At the very least it is for safety: hearing a car behind you or any other emergency. It just makes sense.

Simple answers are often satisfying and wrong. Ego may very well explain it for a significant amount of people, but certainly not all. It’s easy to imagine somebody being so depressed that they see no purpose in getting tested because they feel they’re not worth it. With a little work it’s not difficult to think of other scenarios.

There are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule. I hear Psycho-Babble.

You’re definitely close, and perhaps Ego always plays a part. But was it Ego when I got glasses for the first time and felt embarrassed to wear them in front of people because I thought maybe I was being disrespectful to people who had severe vision problems and mine were minor – just a little trouble seeing the screen?

I have no fashion sense and very little sense of vanity. I feel a similar self-consciousness now because – look at my audiogram – I have about the least hearing loss of anyone I’ve seen on this forum. Is that “Ego, plain and simple”? I guess… self-consciousness out of respect is as much a part of Ego as self-image vanity. But they’re very different issues.

So I would submit that yes, Ego is always involved, but it’s neither plain nor simple.

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  1. A lot depends on the individual’s previous experience with people wearing/not wearing hearing aids. “Joe tried hearing aids and said they didn’t help, so why should I.” Compared to “when my dad got hearing aids, he said I quit mumbling!”
  2. People THINK hearing aids should “fix” their hearing and when they don’t - - they put them in the drawer. The other component is that most people do not understand that it is their “brain” that translates “sound” and hears, not their ears. And that because of that, if the “brain” is denied the sound for any period of time, it “forgets” how to translate it which makes adjusting to hearing aids that much MORE difficult.
  3. When did “basic” vision and hearing testing drop OFF of yearly physical exams? If they were a regular part of everyone’s yearly physical, it would make both more universally understood and accepted.

Two people I know, a couple, both got tested and both were fitted for hearing aids around the same time–about 5 years ago. They both hate them and stopped wearing them after a few months. Their complaints are similar: they are uncomfortable and they couldn’t hear as well as before in restaurants and wind noise while walking and biking was perceived as terrible. They acknowledge, though, that in some situations they heard better. Recently, a 3rd person, tried them for a month and said they hurt so bad that he couldn’t get used to them. My suggestion to go back to the audiologist and tell them they need to make changes fell on deaf ears. Metaphorically speaking. Even sharing my own adjustment difficulties, now mostly resolved, hasn’t nudged these three to try again.

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