Six things every person with hearing loss needs to know
We want to share the top 6 facts that every person with hearing loss needs to know
Hearing loss doesn’t just affect you
Many people with hearing loss think they can just “live with it”. However, surveys over the years have shown that one of the top impacts of untreated hearing loss is strain on relationships, especially the most important ones.
This is because hearing loss affects one’s ability to communicate, and by definition, communication involves a least one other person. If you have noticed tension in your romantic relationships, relationships with your children, friends, or even colleagues at work it is possible that hearing loss could be part of the problem.
You might not notice it
If you’re like most people with hearing loss, you didn’t just wake up one day with trouble hearing. It is a condition that develops very slowly over the course of many years, and over that time your brain adapts and learns to compensate by lip-reading and using coping mechanisms.
It is extremely common for someone to feel surprised when they learn that they have a significant hearing problem. Many of our patients come to us initially because their friends or loved ones are telling them they have a problem.
The stigma of wearing hearing aids is disappearing
When you think of hearing aids, do you think of grandpa with his big bulky tan hearing aids that were always whistling? Does the thought of wearing hearing aids make you feel old or disabled?
The reality is, both hearing technology and our world are changing. As hearing aids get smaller and more discreet, the world is getting accustomed to people wearing devices on their ears. It’s not at all uncommon to see someone walking through the store with a Bluetooth device on their ear chatting away.
Additionally, with “wearables” such as smart watches becoming more common, the world is shifting towards acceptance of wearing devices that track, measure, and impact our lives.
Hearing loss impacts more than just your hearing
Hearing loss has a wide-ranging impact beyond just daily communication difficulties. People with untreated hearing loss are more likely to become depressed, experience imbalance and falling, be hospitalized, become isolated, and develop dementia.
Yes, you can get cheap(ish) hearing aids…but at what cost?
Many people, when making the decision to purchase their first set of hearing aids, look for the best “deal” they can find. A 2009 Consumer Reports investigation found that 2/3 of the people in their survey were either fit with hearing aids that weren’t appropriate for their hearing loss, or their hearing aids weren’t programmed correctly.
Many people who are fit inappropriately with hearing aids that aren’t right for their hearing loss or their lifestyle end up putting the devices in a drawer and never wearing them again. It is worth consideration to invest more in what you need up front so that your long-term outcomes are favorable.
Treating hearing loss is about more than just hearing aids
As hearing technology continues to improve, many people are surprised by how many of their friends and loved ones are disappointed with the performance of their hearing aids.
The reality is that hearing aids are only as good as the person that programs them. Hearing loss is incredibly complex, and a successful hearing aid fitting requires an understanding of anatomy, physiology, physics, acoustics, neurology, and technology. Only a skilled Doctor of Audiology has years of training in all of these areas, and over 1000 hours of supervised clinical time.
However, many people choose to go to a chain hearing aid store and are fit by a hearing instrument specialist who took a one day course to pass the state hearing aid dispensing test.
In the end, choosing a skilled and well-trained hearing care provider is an exponentially more important decision than choosing which hearing aids to purchase.