If you think you have hearing loss the first thing to realise is that you are not alone. There are many others who will have similar frustrations and difficulties in their everyday life as they struggle to manage their hearing difficulties.
We know this to be the case because we see many patients who share surprisingly similar stories about how they found it increasingly difficult to cope with everyday life before finally deciding to take positive action to address their hearing concerns.
Please also recognise the emotional effect that hearing loss can have on you. It is not uncommon to feel frustration and isolation, and this in turn may cause you to start to avoid particular social situations where you feel uncomfortable because you experience difficulty in hearing.
There is some evidence that this emotional impact and isolation can lead to general ill health and event depression if nothing is done, so please ask yourself, do you have difficulty with any of these everyday situations?
- Following conversation with friends and family
- Hearing what’s being said at meetings
- Listening to TV or radio
- Holding telephone conversations
- Listening to music
- Hearing announcements in supermarkets.
- Hearing what’s being said in restaurants
- Following conversations in any group situation
If you do have difficulties then it is possible that you may have hearing loss that may require further investigation by a hearing aid audiologist. Our list isn’t exhaustive, so our message is: if you are having difficulty hearing or understanding in situations where you didn’t have difficulties previously, recognise it, admit it, and seek help from us.
You can contact us on Tel 0800 055 6887 or via our on-line form.
Not all hearing loss is permanent or irreversible, and an assessment by our Hearing Aid Audiologist will establish the general nature of your hearing loss and will in the unlikely event of it being necessary refer you to an appropriate medical specialist for further investigation.
It isn’t just about you!!
Are you often told that you have the television too loud?
Do you constantly ask people to repeat themselves?
Many people with hearing loss forget the impact it has on their husband, wife or partner and on relatives and friends. They too may be feeling the same frustration because they find they are not able to communicate effectively with someone they care about. It can be stressful for them to have to constantly repeat what has already been said in an effort to clarify sometimes even the most rudimentary of conversations.
Those around you will be aware that it can become both physically and emotionally draining having to re-explain what has already been said in a social situation such as a party or wedding reception. Often by the time they have explained what has just been said the conversation has already moved on and you find that you are now both ‘cut-off’ from the natural flow of conversation.
Daily activities such as shopping or making arrangements over the telephone now fall to your partner because you are not able to hear sufficiently to take control of these situations.
If you recognise these as familiar issues in your everyday experiences it is important that you seek help: and if your partner, family or friends recognise them, they should encourage you to seek help. Listen to yourself and listen to them for their benefit as well as yours.
What’s Right for you
Next we must have a clear understanding of:
- Your lifestyle and expectations of what hearing aids can do for you
- Your medical history and general health
- The nature of your specific hearing loss
- How you feel about what your hearing aid(s) will look like
- The expectations of family and friends
- The level of technology required to address your lifestyle requirements
- Your budget
It is our job to evaluate all of these factors and then carefully select a hearing solution that will be suitable for you and provide you with the maximum benefit in addressing your current difficulties. Rarely, at this stage we might feel that hearing aids will not help in your case, so we will recommend other sources of assistance that might be available to you.
The key to long-term rehabilitation and satisfaction is that we work in partnership with you to manage and meet your expectations of what your hearing care plan can realistically achieve. Bear in mind that:
- The fitting of hearing aids is the beginning NOT the end of a rehabilitation process that can take between three to six months to complete.
- It takes perseverance and a period of adjustment before all the benefits are fully realised.
- The support and encouragement of family and friends is vital.
- The more you put in, the more you will get out of using hearing instruments.