Lately, I have heard more stories about shaming those with hearing loss. It still seems acceptable to express frustration through shaming when someone does not hear us. A community is made of all different kinds of people. Each one with struggles that others cannot see.
Hearing is a resource that allows us to engage in a real-time fusion of thoughts and feelings. When you have normal hearing, you communicate with little comparative effort. When you have hearing loss, it is much harder to communicate.
Routine follow up care will help you get the most out of your hearing aids.
You can be an audiophile, live music connoisseur, or looking to relax at the end of the day. In any case, you will find listening to music through your hearing aids very enjoyable.
Fewer people feel the need to ‘hide’ their hearing loss. But, those who want to ‘hide’ their hearing loss feel much more strongly about it. Let me offer two thoughts for encouragement.
Asking at what age hearing is no longer vital is like asking at what age companionship is no longer necessary. Hearing is the sense that most contributes to our ability to engage with others.
You will be successful if you work with an audiologist who can guide you through choosing, learning to use, and maintaining your hearing aids. Studies show the importance of guidance from an audiologist. These findings are consistent no matter how basic or sophisticated the level of technology.
To get the most out of your hearing aid experience, maintain a practice of wearing your hearing aids consistently, keep regular appointments with your audiologist, and keep communication success top-of-mind.
Research has demonstrated a relationship between delayed treatment for hearing loss and deterioration in the ability to understand speech.
Consider hearing aids as treatment for a serious, significant medical condition, not as an appliance purchase. Measure your satisfaction of hearing aids as how well it contributes to the quality of your communication and relationships.
Loss of mental acuity (memory loss, depression, dementia, Alzheimer) was named as a top concern for over 65% of respondents in a 2015 National Council on Aging survey. Hearing loss treatment is a significant lever for maintaining your mental and decision-making faculties as you age.
In the presence of hearing loss, your brain has to devote more energy to processing sound. It can draw this energy from memory encoding, decision-making, and emotional well-being.
What should you look for in a provider? First, an audiologist who works with a variety of manufacturers and can effectively match a device to the hearing loss. Second, the expertise to program hearing aids; which is not at all the same as simply increasing the gain (turning up the volume). Third, and an absolute necessity, the audiologist should use objective testing to ensure the programming is on target.
Why would untreated hearing loss lead to depression? When you have hearing loss, listening is a more effortful, exhaustive exercise. The effort - fatigued - drained experience is a pathway to depression, sadness, and anxiety.
Hearing loss can impact relationships. Communication takes effort, patience, and planning . . . for both of you.
What will get your loved one, who has hearing loss, to get a hearing test?
When you are speaking to your mother, pause between phrases.
When you are speaking to someone with hearing loss, keep your hands away from your face. Make communication your priority.
This is the second in a series of posts about communicating with a loved one with hearing loss.
This is the first in a series of posts on how to communicate with a loved one with hearing loss.
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Levity aside, I can’t help but think of the myriad other health conditions, or other socially-sensitive stereotypes that might have replaced hearing loss that would have resulted in outrage.
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