Hearing in childrenJuly 11, 2023
Friday Dry Day – 27 October – BenoniAugust 24, 2023
So, you have hearing loss, but you are hesitant to do something about it?
Having your hearing tested is a very important and essential step in your journey to better hearing. Discovering and accepting your hearing loss can be a very difficult step at first, but please remember that you are not alone. Often, people with hearing loss wait years to take action, which is a very long time to live with a problem that could easily be treated. Hearing aids today offer sophisticated technology and allow us to select the best technology and features for your specific needs, discreet styles, and budget. The benefits of hearing aid FAR outweigh the cost thereof, not only financially but emotionally, physically, and psychologically.
What is the next step? Let’s talk a bit about the process, the next step, the importance of treating hearing loss, and the effects of untreated hearing loss.
It may be worth getting to the root of why you are hesitant.
Some common preconceived ideas, stigmas, and misconceptions surround hearing loss and hearing aids:
Only people with serious hearing loss need hearing aids: The need for hearing amplification is dependent on your lifestyle, your need for refined hearing, and the degree of your hearing loss. If you are a lawyer, a teacher, or a psychologist, where very refined hearing is necessary to discern the nuances of human communication, then even mild hearing loss can be intolerable. The use of amplification by someone with significant communication needs is critical. On the other hand, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle and only communicate with others in the quiet of your own home, then more hearing loss may be tolerated before the purchase of amplification. If your hearing interferes with your ability to hear and understand others in any of your life situations, then you should pursue hearing amplification. Do not forget, however, that leaving hearing loss untreated may have devastating consequences, such as auditory deprivation.
Hearing aids will make me look “older”: Looking older is more affected by almost all other factors besides hearing aids. It’s not the hearing aids that make one look older; it’s what one may believe they imply. If hearing aids help you function like a normal hearing person, the stigma is removed. Hearing aid manufacturers are well aware that cosmetics are an issue for many people. But more importantly, keep in mind that “hearing loss is more obvious than a hearing aid.” Smiling and nodding your head when you don’t understand what is being said makes your condition more apparent than the largest hearing aid.
My hearing loss is normal for my age. Isn’t that a strange way to look at things? Unfortunately, people are told that every day. Consider this analogy. It happens to be “normal” for overweight people to have high blood pressure. That doesn’t mean they should not receive treatment for the problem.
The consequences of hiding hearing loss are better than wearing hearing aids. “Your hearing loss is more conspicuous than your hearing aids.” What price are you paying for vanity? If you miss a punch line to a joke or respond inappropriately in conversation, people may have concerns about your mental acuity, your attention span, or your ability to communicate effectively. The personal consequences of vanity can be life-altering. At a simplistic level, untreated hearing loss means giving up some of the pleasant sounds you used to enjoy. At a deeper level, vanity could severely reduce the quality of your life.
Hearing loss affects only “old people” and is merely a sign of aging: Only 35 percent of people with hearing loss are older than 64. Hearing loss affects all age groups. Causes of hearing loss include age-related nerve hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss, the use of ototoxic medication, middle ear problems, inner ear diseases, and many more.
I have one ear that’s down a little, but the other one is okay: Everything is relative. Nearly all patients who believe that they have one “good” ear have two “bad” ears. When one ear is slightly better than the other, we learn to favor that ear for the telephone, group conversations, and so forth. It can give the illusion that “the better ear” is normal when it is not. Most types of hearing loss affect both ears fairly equally, and about 90 percent of patients need hearing aids for both ears.
If I had a hearing loss, my family doctor would have told me: Not true! Less than 20% of physicians perform formal hearing screenings on their adult patients. Since most hearing-impaired people hear well in quiet environments like your doctor’s office, it can be virtually impossible for your physician to recognize the degree of your hearing loss. Chances are probably better that your spouse or children will pick up your hearing loss before your doctor do!
I have been told that my hearing loss cannot be helped: Many people with hearing loss or with nerve damage have been told they cannot be helped. This may have been true many years ago, but with modern advances in technology, nearly 95% of people with nerve hearing loss CAN be helped with hearing aids.
Hearing Aids are too expensive: Hearing aids are available in a variety of price ranges – depending on your needs. Affordable entry-level hearing instruments perform well these days, depending on your listening situation. Don’t let this put you off – there are various solutions available!
BUT… DO I NEED A HEARING AID, IS MY HEARING REALLY THAT BAD?
Even mild hearing loss affects how you hear soft sounds in quiet and noisy situations. The fact is that chances are that if someone has commented or urged you to go for a hearing test or if you are reading here, it is evident that it will benefit you.
Why should I take action? We understand that you are hesitant about taking the next step. But I also want you to know that taking the next step will vastly improve your quality of life as well as your social, emotional, psychological, and physical well-being.
The following areas will often improve through the treatment of hearing loss:
- Communication in relationships
- Intimacy and warmth in family relationships
- Ease of communication in day-to-day life and activities
- Physical health
- Sense of control over life events
- Emotional stability
- Perception of mental functioning
- Earning power
- Participation in social situations
- Quality of life
WHAT IF I DO NOT TREAT MY HEARING LOSS?
Except for the loss of quality of life, and various psychological and emotional effects that untreated hearing loss has, it could also have potentially devastating physical consequences:
Auditory Deprivation: The auditory nerve and auditory area in the brain are reliant on stimulation or exercise for it to remain active and in full functioning order. If it is not stimulated as it should be, these areas deteriorate or atrophy and lose their functionality over time. This deterioration can become such a big problem that hearing aids can’t help anymore. Therefore, taking the step of wearing hearing aids is not only to treat your immediate hearing problem, but it is also a preventative measure to ensure full functionality of the auditory nerve and auditory area in the brain in the future. The saying is true: “If you don’t use it, you lose it…”
These are among other some of the consequences of untreated hearing loss:
- Irritability, negativity, anger
- Fatigue, tension, stress, and depression
- Avoidance or withdrawal from social situations and relationships
- Reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety
- Impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks
- Increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Auditory deprivation
- Atrophy of auditory areas in the brain responsible for perceiving sound.
- Reduced job performance
- Diminished psychological and overall health
WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP?
Visit your audiologist for an in-depth audiological assessment to confirm the hearing loss. Based on the hearing test, if your audiologist feels that you are a good candidate for hearing aids and that you would benefit greatly from them, she will recommend hearing instruments. Having hearing loss in both ears requires hearing aids in both ears; this way, you will hear more naturally and improve hearing in noisy situations and groups.
- Together with your audiologist, you can select a hearing aid that suits your hearing loss, listening needs, style, and budget.
- Hearing aid technology keeps on getting better, allowing you to hear natural sound with smaller discreet devices.
- Digital modern hearing aids are advanced. In addition to amplifying sound, they also process sound actively to help highlight speech and minimize noise.
- Depending on your preference, a hearing aid that does not need any adjustment can be selected. If you, however, prefer to be able to adjust your hearing aid, we can select one that can. You can even control your hearing from your phone or remote control!
- Most instruments have Bluetooth capability to use your phone as a remote or streaming device! Imagine that – A Bluetooth headset that happens to make you hear better!
There has never been a better time than NOW! By putting your trust in a trained and licensed audiologist, you can be certain that you are getting expert, caring, and objective advice about your hearing and your options. Now, the next step is up to you; we hope that you will contact us to arrange a time for you to come in and discuss your options. Please be assured that we will work with you and take your hand every step of the way to answer all your questions and concerns and provide efficient follow-up service and advice whenever you need it.
The sounds of life await you…