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Associates in Hearing

The Successful Hearing Aid User

By Resources

Audiology researchers studied 160 hearing aid users to determine which factors contribute to successful hearing aid use.  Of the five factors identified, only one was related to hearing loss itself.  The other four factors were related to personality or attitude.

The most important factors contributing to successful hearing aid use were:

Family support: The most important factor for success was the positive support of family and friends.  There was high agreement with statements such as “The people around me think it was wise to get hearing aids,” and “The people around me think I hear better with my hearing aids.”  Having your friends or family involved and bringing them with you to your appointments can help them understand your hearing loss.  They are also the individuals who are most familiar with your hearing loss so they will serve as an unbiased onlooker who can tell you if the aids are serving their purpose or not.

Personal Attitude: Individuals who had a positive attitude about hearing aids and were comfortable handling them were successful users.  Keeping a positive attitude both before and after obtaining hearing aids can also contribute to success.

Hearing difficulty: Those who reported more hearing difficulties were more likely to be successful hearing aid users. Due to the fact that they’ve faced more hurdles and missed out on more dialogue, people with more hearing difficulty are more likely to notice even the most subtle of changes.  Whether is the squeaking of your shoes or the subtle taps of a symbol on a drum, it amazes individuals on what details they were missing out on.

Implications: The results from this and other research suggest that:

– Family members should be involved in the hearing rehabilitation process.

– The process should include a “thorough exploration of the effects of the hearing loss.”

– Instruction and demonstration of the handling of the hearing aids contribute to successful use

Does Your Doctor Look for Hearing Loss?

By Resources

We get our eyes checked, we get our teeth checked but we don’t always give our ears the same level of care.  The invisible handicap of hearing loss is one that most people tend to put on the back burner.  One way can change this is by encouraging our primary care physicians to make this a routine part of their care.

Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic health conditions and has important implications for patients’ quality of life.  However, hearing loss is substantially undetected and untreated.”  That was the conclusion in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  The authors recommended that physicians screen for hearing loss during routine physical examinations of their patients over the age of 55.  Despite these recommendations, only about 10% of the primary care physicians screen their adult patients for hearing loss.

You can help by encouraging your own doctor to screen for hearing loss.  Your doctor may appreciate hearing about the difference good hearing health care has made in your life.  Taking away the negative connotations that surround hearing loss is the first step in getting doctors to detect early signs of loss.  Studies have shown that on average people wait 7+ years to address their hearing problems.  Whether that is their own stubbornness or that they were never made aware by their doctor, this is 7+ years with a loss in quality of life.

2017 has just begun but we should all make a whole hearted effort to put our health at the top of our resolution list.  Hearing health can be correlated to a multitude of health problems so getting your hearing checked would be a great start towards improving your well-being.