How would you feel about living a life that is healthier and happier?
I suppose the answer would be a resounding, “I would love that!” I’m here to tell you that as you age, there are certain misconceptions that, if understood, can help you and your loved ones live healthier, happier and perhaps even longer lives.
Many don’t fully understand what hearing loss truly entails. While hearing loss is the #1 sensory disorder on the planet, it is also one of the least treated chronic medical conditions.
Let’s discuss some common misconceptions about hearing loss and what you can do to support healthy hearing.
Even if you show up for regular check-ups with your doctor, a general practitioner will rarely, if ever, have reason to believe you may be suffering from hearing loss, and I’ve yet to see one who will automatically perform hearing tests related to symptoms you may be experiencing (and quite frankly, it’s not their job). No – rubbing their fingers near your ears and asking if you can hear it – is not a hearing test!
It is vital to understand that, when experiencing symptoms of hearing loss and tinnitus, it could be related to your hearing health, and you should see an audiologist to confirm whether your symptoms are related to damage in the ear and/or brain. These symptoms may include:
It is important as you age to have professional hearing tests done, especially in the early stages. This can go one of two ways. You may find out that your hearing is fine, and your audiologist can use the result as a baseline to compare your hearing down the road. Or, if it is verified that you do have hearing loss, your audiologist can determine the degree and advise as to whether hearing aids will benefit you.
Although we were taught in grade school that we hear with our ears, the truth is we hear with our brains! When you are having difficulty hearing, obviously the ears are the first thing you think of. However, there are many other areas in your life that can also be impacted by hearing loss.
Over time, hearing loss can and will (if not properly addressed) affect your social life, your mental health, your cognitive abilities, and overall health and wellness. Don’t let yourself get to a point where it is too late. Address it now and enjoy the finer things in life as you age.
While hearing loss cannot be cured, you can significantly improve your hearing, and there are treatments available to help you do so. One of the most promising and helpful options being the use of hearing technology to properly stimulate the brain and help you hear everywhere. Today’s advanced prescription technology is proven effective in providing you with a better overall hearing experience no matter what environment you are in (including noisy restaurants).
Using prescription technology to treat hearing loss is the most common and effective option available. If you are prescribed hearing aids as part of a comprehensive hearing treatment plan, the goal is to increase the clarity of what others are saying, reduce the interference of background noise and impede the ringing in your ears (assuming you suffer from tinnitus – like 90% of all people with hearing loss).
Providing the right auditory stimulation to the brain can only be achieved with a custom prescription that results from a comprehensive diagnostic process. This guarantees that each patient will receive maximum clarity and hear as naturally as possible.
While the short-term goal of treatment is to reduce the frustration, isolation and embarrassment that come along with hearing loss, the long-term goal is to improve cognitive (brain) health and reduce the risk of detrimental diseases such as dementia.
Many years ago, this was true, but hearing aids have come such a long way.
So, the question is, “Will others be able to see my hearing aids?”
Thankfully, I can now tell you that there are several options available when it comes to modern hearing technology. Extended Wear Technology is placed deep in your ear canal and worn 24 hours per day for 4 months at a time. This hassle-free option is great for patients who desire maximum discreteness or for those who cannot handle the daily routine (due to arthritis or memory-related issues).
Daily Wear Technology offers the most advanced and precise capabilities that can follow the dynamics of every listening environment and differentiate between speech and background noise. You and your hearing healthcare specialist will decide what is best for you, your hearing loss, and your tinnitus needs.
One of the biggest mistakes often made is assuming that hearing aids are outside of your budget. In fact, there are many affordable options made to help you not only treat your hearing loss but ones that don’t break the bank.
Keep in mind, however, that some low-cost over-the-counter hearing aids will be more expensive to maintain down the line. In some cases it’s more affordable to get a monthly treatment plan that includes full coverage of your device, supplies, etc.
As always, I look forward to your questions. And if you’d like to learn more about the latest research about and treatment options for hearing loss, there is plenty of information on my website.
Who was the first person who noticed your hearing loss? Do you think your GP is competent enough to diagnose/test hearing loss? Do you wear hearing aids? What’s your experience with them?
Tags Medical Conditions