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Breaking Hearing Loss Stigmas One Conversation At A Time

Those affected by hearing loss may have dif culty explaining how their life changed when they began to lose their hearing. Though it can be di cult to articulate what it’s like to live with hearing loss, speaking up can be very empowering. This guide can help you through those conversations.

Educating others empowers them and yourself to change hearing loss stigmas. How you respond to your hearing loss can in uence how others do as well.

Research tells us that concealing your hearing loss can create tension in your social or professional life that could negatively a ect your health and well-being. On the other hand, talking about it alleviates the strain of trying to hide the condition. Plus, it increases your chances of nding a support network with others who understand.

To be a successful advocate, the most essential trait you can have is openness. As an advocate, it’s important to communicate fully and have the con dence to request this openness from others. Good advocates are tenacious, patient, and gracious toward those who help their cause.

It’s also a good idea to talk to your physician. Oftentimes they do not screen for hearing loss during a physical. Remind them that screening for hearing loss is important because it can be a window into your overall health. By bringing this to their attention, who knows who else you’ll be helping?

5 Ways Better Hearing Can Improve Your Life

To many people, hearing loss is a topical problem with a topical solution: You can’t hear as well as you used to? Get hearing aids and you’ll be fine. But the reality is that hearing loss has far-reaching effects on all aspects of life — and better hearing can do wonders to reverse or mitigate those effects, whether it’s through using your hearing system more consistently or upgrading your current technology to improve your range of sound. Below are five ways that hearing your best can help you live the life you want to live:

1. Keep Your Brain Sharp.
Studies over the past few years by Johns Hopkins researchers have detailed a number of associations between hearing loss and decreased brain function. Individuals with untreated hearing loss face a greater likelihood of developing dementia and a much greater incidence of balance issues. Because hearing loss affects the auditory cortex of the brain — an area also associated with memory — lack of stimulation to that area can lead to atrophy. Researchers have found that even a mild hearing loss contributes to an additional square inch per year of brain shrinkage in seniors. Keeping the auditory cortex strong through stimulation, which is aided by hearing instruments, can help prevent cognitive troubles.

2. Increase Your Income Potential.
Being able to properly hear your co-workers, bosses, and clients is an important aspect of employment, but you may not have considered the benefit of better hearing in relation to your income potential. According to a 1999 survey by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), the net income difference reported among 51- to 61-year-olds is a difference of nearly $40,000 per year. Investing in better hearing can truly pay off.

3. Experience a Higher Overall Quality of Life.
Individuals with untreated hearing loss report greater dissatisfaction with their relationships, friendships, family life, health, and finances. The benefits of hearing aid treatment are found to be significant in study after study, with NCOA’s 1999 research revealing that those who received treatment saw vast improvements in relations at home, with children and grandchildren, and at work, as well as a greater sense of safety in general.

4. Improve Your Confidence.
One confounding aspect of hearing loss is that the very technology that makes lives better holds a certain stigma for the user, be it real or imagined. About one in five users admits to being embarrassed about wearing a hearing aid, but most users experience a breakthrough in self-image and self-confidence after experiencing what better hearing does for their lives. The NCOA survey states that hearing aids improve user self-image by about 50 percent on average, and self-confidence by about 39 percent on average.

5. See — and Hear — the Bright Side of Life.
Depression is more common in those with hearing loss, potentially because of a tendency to withdraw from social situations. Anxiety and paranoia are also more common, as is the perception of anger toward the individual with hearing loss. Hearing aids allow the user to experience more of what the world has to offer through better communication.

And if you’d like to upgrade your current system to something that allows you to better connect to the world around you, ask us how you can receive $500 off an upgrade, and we’ll show you what the latest technology can do to improve your life even more.

Take advantage of this offer now — the holidays are a great time to make sure you’re hearing your best!

Sincerely,

Dr. Stephanie R. Moore
Audiologist

Our Patients Tell Us…

…time and time again that the most life-altering and inspiring change that comes with achieving better hearing is rediscovering the personal connections that are missing from their lives.

It’s these familiar and essential sounds—the voices of our children, grandchildren, spouses, and loved ones—that ground and comfort us. Our passion is creating the better-hearing solutions that keep the people and things you love close to you.

That’s why we always recommend you bring a loved one with you for every hearing consultation or technology-upgrade appointment. They play a key role in helping you achieve better hearing. Their voice is a familiar sound that you can focus on, which helps us fine-tune your technology, and they offer a unique perspective on your hearing loss. After all, they’ve been experiencing it right along with you. Because hearing loss happens gradually, your companion will likely notice specific listening situations that appear to be a struggle for you that you may not even have been aware of.

If you find that you need additional help hearing among all the commotion of crowded holiday gatherings, ask about our streaming systems that incorporate
a personal, wireless microphone that can be worn by your companion. These systems allow you to receive a clear, wireless signal from individual voices in the room, letting you communicate more comfortably, and without missing a moment of the holiday fun.