I Think I’ll Wait Until My Hearing Gets Really Bad
“I Think I’ll Wait Until My Hearing Gets Really Bad”
Laurie Bornstein, MS, CCC/A
Executive Hearing LLC
What is your reason to postpone an investment in better hearing? While cost may certainly be a concern, it has also been shown that even when hearing aids are free, many still balk at wearing them. What’s worse is when physicians tell their patients that they are “too young” to wear hearing aids, or “not bad enough yet,” or that “hearing aids only make things louder.”
Physicians who are not Ear, Nose and Throat specialists get very little education about hearing in medical school. Even ENTs who are quite knowledgeable about ears are seldom educated about hearing aids, but because they are medical doctors, patients listen to them and accept as fact statements that might only be opinions. Hearing aid technology changes so frequently that audiologists can barely keep up, but that’s precisely what makes audiology a specialty that requires several years of schooling and constant updating!
When your physician (or anyone!) tells you to skip getting hearing aids for now, ask if s/he knows of a medical or surgical intervention that will make you hear better or make your tinnitus subside. If the answer is no, then get out of there and head to an audiologist for another opinion.
If you have trouble hearing – even “sometimes” – please don’t postpone taking care of it. Today’s hearing solutions range from simple amplifiers that are useful for those who truly might not benefit much from “real” hearing aids, yet report some difficulties, to high-tech devices that will even interact with some electronic devices in the home.
Many people don’t realize how much they miss and how much added stress and fatigue results from straining to hear. Life is not only safer and experiences richer when one can hear, people report having energy that they thought was only available to the young.
Now that there has been shown to be a relationship between untreated hearing loss and early onset of dementia, it is more important than ever to retain your hearing as long as possible. If that means wearing hearing aids, wear them proudly in the realization that you are taking care of yourself so that you can interact fully for as long as you walk this earth. Friends and loved ones are counting on you!