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(ARA) – Hearing loss can be life-altering. People who have difficulty hearing can feel isolated and lose self-confidence, which can put a strain on relationships with family and friends. But even when people who are losing their hearing are aware of the problem, it can be difficult to bring up the idea of getting a hearing aid. If you take the time to talk about why now is the most important time to get a hearing aid, it can make a huge difference in their lives.
If you or someone you know is being impacted by hearing loss, the thought of doing something about it can be daunting. Keep in mind the following tips – as well as the idea that having this talk might just improve your quality of life and your relationships.
If you are opening the conversation with someone, consider the following:
* Talk about both of your perceptions – but be open and not accusatory. For example: “Could you understand the server at dinner last night?”
* Talk about situations where you both may have problems and then situations where one of you seems to do better.
* If activities have changed, for example, he or she has stopped going to meetings, etc., talk about how hearing can impact the ability to feel connected and comfortable in these situations.
* Talk about the common signs and symptoms of hearing loss – for example, turning the TV up loudly, complaining about other people mumbling, etc.
* Take a hearing assessment online – like that on Starkey.com – together and see how you both do.
* Go with your loved one to the hearing test with a hearing professional so you can share your perspective as well.
When the decision is made to get a hearing aid, it’s helpful to realize there is an adjustment period. It can take a wearer some time to re-adjust to being able to hear well.
When the person wearing the hearing aid is still new to it, it helps to be conscious of where and how you’re speaking to him or her. Be sure that you are devoting all your attention to the wearer, and cut out as many distractions as you can. Seek out well-lit spaces where it’s easiest to see each other’s facial expressions, which are a big part of any conversation, and face each other. Avoid actions that make it harder to hear or cause distraction, like eating during the conversation, reading the paper or resting your chin on your hand. When adjusting to a new hearing aid, it helps to shut windows and turn off the TV when having a conversation, and to sit close to the person during conversation.
It can take time for the brain to re-adjust to hearing things fully, so it’s important to speak at a natural level and pace. Try not to speak too quickly – a good way to slow down your speech a bit without going too slowly is to make sure that you’re pronouncing each word clearly, so that it doesn’t rush into the next word. If the person you’re speaking with misunderstands something you say, try rephrasing your sentence. Some words are harder to hear (or lip-read) than others.
Because some of the most common complaints about hearing aids are feedback and background noise, do your best to eliminate those problems. New technology advances have made great strides in allowing hearing aids to cut out feedback and reduce the difficulty of hearing in noise. S Series from Starkey not only cuts out the annoying whistling and allows for better hearing in noisy conditions, it can also be personalized based on individual lifestyle assessments.
Encouraging a loved one with difficulty hearing to get a hearing aid will have a positive impact on his or her life and yours. While it can be a difficult transition, once he or she is accustomed to it, having a hearing aid will make the world much richer.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
Originally posted 2010-04-04 10:09:10.