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Facts and Fictions About Hearing Loss
It’s perfectly understandable to be in the midst of a life change and decide to cut yourself a break by ignoring it for a small span of time. That’s how you know which things to pay attention to and which to let fall by the wayside. Dealing with hearing loss can certainly be one of the obstacles you’ve put off for as long as possible. Eventually though, it begins to make its presence known in so many areas of your life that you’re forced to confront next steps.
Before diving in, it can be beneficial to investigate the realities of living with hearing loss. You’ll be surprised at how easily and privately many solutions fit into your life. Here are a few brief fictions we’re happy to dispel in order to get you out of ‘worst case scenario’ projections and into finding the solution that’s right for you:
Fiction: It’s better to wait until my hearing loss gets really bad before I get a hearing aid.
Fact: The way we hear is a complex system, a beautifully balanced orchestra of the physical body and our brains. The auditory system in our brains is stimulated by external sound and if that system is not used, it begins to lose its full capabilities. What that means for hearing loss is that it is much more practical to treat hearing loss in its early stages so that we do not have to retrain our brains to hear and translate sound.
Fiction: I’ll have to wear an unsightly and very visible hearing aid.
Fact: Anyone concerned that a visible hearing aid will affect people’s perceptions of them — making one appear older or infirm — can go ahead and throw that one right out the window. That may have been true for your grandparent’s generation, but today’s hearing aids have evolved along with the rest of our technological world. Many hearing aids available now are discreet and totally undetectable without sacrificing any sound quality.
Fiction: I can never dine out in a busy restaurant again and expect to maintain normal conversation.
Fact: Do a little research on tips for dining out with hearing loss. You’d be surprised at how many practical solutions exist to make your restaurant experience easy and fun. Did you know that sitting in a corner uses architectural aids like walls or high booth ledges to make conversation with your companion more audible? And you thought cozy corners were just for romantic vibes!
Today’s intelligent hearing aids also make it possible to zone in on your companion’s voice, filtering out unnecessary and distracting background noise. Dining out or conversing in a crowded space are not the hindrance they used to be!
Fiction: I’d know if I had significant hearing loss that requires intervention.
Fact: It’s a sad truth that a majority of Americans are not tested regularly for hearing loss. You will likely have to make an appointment to specifically discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider. The signs of initial hearing loss can be subtle. Perhaps it seems as though if the people around you would just speak up a bit or enunciate their words more clearly, you’d be able to hear them just fine. Hearing loss doesn’t necessarily mean a complete loss of sound, but may start as sounds becoming less distinctive to your ears.
Fiction: If I go the hearing device route, I won’t be able to use my smartphone and other communication devices.
Fact: Today’s hearing solutions are incredibly adept at syncing with your other devices. Many hearing aids on the market today have options to integrate with Bluetooth technology, connecting your devices seamlessly. This also means that television systems and music streaming devices equipped with Bluetooth can be enabled to do the same. Instead of making your listening life more complicated, many hearing aids allow you to upgrade your listening experience in a majority of cases.
Fiction: A hearing aid will ruin my hearing further by making everything too loud.
Fact: Advancement in the audiology field has been rapid in the last decades. Technology has become so intelligent that we are now able to better discern which noises you want amplified and those that you don’t. So, it’s really an enhancement of your experience in the world, allowing you to choose what you want to hear and what you don’t. If only the rest of life were so easy to turn on and off!
Ready to experience the full spectrum of sounds in your life? Contact us at Hear Care Rhode Island today for a consultation.