Signs Of Hearing Loss And How To Deal With It

The most typical reaction to a gradual loss of hearing is to ignore it rather than be proactive, see the doctor, and get a hearing test.  There are many reasons for this depending on the individual but ignoring hearing loss can cause a variety of worsening problems.  There are the obvious safety issues like not being able to hear smoke alarms, car horns, telephone rings, or simply verbal warnings.  And then there are social effects which can lead to isolation as well cognitive decline.

The first step to prevent these issues is to identify hearing loss.

Watch out for these signs

Do any of these apply to you or a loved one?

  • Increasing the volume of the TV/radio beyond normal listening levels.
  • Feel that others are mumbling when they speak or they speak softly.
  • Asking others to repeat themselves.
  • Finding it increasingly hard to hear conversations in background noise.
  • Becoming frustrated and tense in social situations because you cannot clearly hear others.
  • Depending on your spouse, friends, and family members to clarify and repeat things that were said to you.
  • Avoiding social situations with more than one speaker because it is difficult to hear and understand them.

Acceptance is the Key to Success

On average it takes some people up to ten years to accept their hearing loss and do something about it. When it takes this long, the adjustment to wearing hearing aids is typically more difficult.  The brain hasn’t been “hearing” a lot of the new sounds and will have to adjust this new amount input in addition to changes associated with any new hearing aid.

Hearing aids can be fitted for any level of hearing loss.  In other words, you do not have to be nearly deaf to need a hearing aid.  In fact, wearing a hearing aid earlier will make the adjustment easier and maintain and good quality of life.

Take Initiative

Those who take the initiative and are willing to learn how to use their hearing aids receive the best outcomes. How well your hearing aid works is up to you. Having a spouse, family member or a friend help you may also ensure you get the most out of your hearing aids.

Realistic Expectations

It’s important to recognize that a hearing aid will never replace the organic hearing system. Therefore having realistic expectations and focusing on improvements in hearing, rather than perfection is the key to successful hearing aid use and improved quality of life. If your hearing loss happened progressively over time, your brain has been deprived of certain sounds. And with the use of a hearing aid your brain will be re-introduced to these sounds, which at this point are quite unfamiliar. Therefore the user will have an acclimatization period (which is different from user to user). This means the brain learns to get used to the sounds once more.

First Time Hearing Aid Users

Conversational speech may sound weird. You can hear your own voice through the hearing aids. You can hear strange sounds in your everyday surrounding that may appear weird and unusual. These are all very usual comments and experiences with the first time hearing aid user. What you are hearing are the high-pitch speech and environmental sounds, which you have been deprived of for so long. However, the good news is that your brain is extremely flexible and will adapt to these sounds after a period of adjustment.

Having the dedication and patience to learn to use your hearing aids will help you get the most out of them. Just like anything new that is introduced to our body and brain, it takes some time to adjust and get used to. Therefore we always encourage you to wear your hearing aids as often as possible, first thing in the morning and removing them before you go to bed at night. Wearing your hearing aids during your normal daily activities is recommended, and you should notice the difference they make in hearing the sounds of the world. Should you require more practice with your hearing aids, our audiologists will assist you.

Stay In Touch

The audiologist is committed to helping you achieve better hearing, and they will always be available to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.  As a standard practice, we book a two-week follow-up appointment with all new hearing aid users to accommodate any adjustments to your hearing aid.

During these two weeks, you will have had time to wear your hearing aids in a variety of real-life situations and will be able to relay your experiences and preferences to the audiologist. Should you require any adjustments, the audiologist will make the necessary changes for you right away.

Once you gain better hearing with your hearing aids, you inspire others to take the same step towards better hearing. You may now be more inclined to helping a loved one seek the same solutions to their hearing problems. People often listen to someone who they can relate to, and will be more willing to do something about their own hearing loss with the encouragement and support of their friends and loved ones. We would be happy to reserve your referrals and introduce your friends or loved ones to solutions for better hearing. With our Friend-Referral Program we award our clients for every referral made to our clinic.

Useful Resources:

Causes of hearing loss in one ear

Types of hearing loss

Hearing and the brain

The relationship between cancer and hearing loss

How one person accepted her hearing loss

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