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 aids 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 a hearing loss and the effects of an untreated hearing loss.
It may be worth getting to the root of why you are hesitant?
Some common preconceived ideas, stigmas and misconceptions surrounds 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 a mild hearing loss can be intolerable. 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 prior to 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 a hearing loss untreated may have devastating consequences, such as auditory deprivation.
Hearing aids will make me look “older”: Looking older is clearly more affected by almost all other factors besides hearing aids. It’s not the hearing aids that makes one look older, it’s what one may believe they imply. If hearing aids help you function like a normal hearing person, for all intents and purposes, the stigma is removed. Hearing aid manufacturers are well aware that cosmetics are an issue to 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 othe one is okay: Everything is relative. Nearly all patients who believe that they have one “good” ear actually 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 are in need of 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 a 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 performs really well these days, depending on your listening situation. Don’t let this put you off – there are various solutions available!
BUT… DO I REALLY 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 that if you are reading here it already is evident that it will benefit you.
Why should I take action? You are feeling hesitant about taking the next step, and we understand that. But I also want you to know that taking the next step will vastly improve your quality of life as well as social, emotional, psychological and physical well-being.
The following areas will often improve through the treatment of a hearing loss:
WHAT IF I DO NOT TREAT MY HEARING LOSS?
Except for the loss of quality of life, and various psychological and emotional effects that an untreated hearing loss has, it could also have potentially devastating physical consequences:
Auditory Deprivation: The auditory nerve and auditory area in the brain is reliant on stimulation or exercise in order for it to remain active an in full functioning order. If it is not stimulated as it should be, these areas deteriorate or atrophy and lose its 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 are not only to treat you 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:
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 feel that you are a good candidate for hearing aids and that you would benefit greatly from them she will recommend hearing instruments. Having a 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.
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 in order 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…
Wierdapark – 012 653 3830
Saxby Medicross – 087 944 1803
Benoni – Northmead – 011 425 0171