Is it the right question to ask? In cases of hearing loss, the most common treatment a hearing care professional will offer is a hearing aid.
While we all wait for a permanent cure for hearing loss, for many people hearing aids are the best option available, as they help to maximise the hearing a person has left.
Hearing aids work on enhancing sounds a person may no longer hear naturally, making it easier to hear important sounds for communication and environmental awareness, and as soon as a hearing loss is measurable it’s likely that a hearing aid can provide help.
If you or a loved one is recommended a hearing aid, a very natural question you may think to ask is, “do I really need a hearing aid?” This is understandable and for people that rely on hearing for their occupation, for family or social responsibilities, or for personal safety, the answer may be a clear, “yes, I do need a hearing aid!”
However, considering it takes the average person seven to ten years to act upon their hearing loss, it’s obvious that many of us feel less certain about an answer. Simply considering whether a hearing aid is something you need might not give you the full picture, and a more important question that allows for an informed discussion to ask is, “what do I risk by not acting now to improve my hearing?” This allows you to understand the consequences of not choosing to get an aid, and the latest research is starting to show that there are significant consequences both in the medium to long-term for those who decide to delay intervention.
Early adoption of hearing aids even in cases of mild hearing loss has a number of advantages over waiting. Those with hearing loss:
• who don’t wear hearing aids are 50 per cent more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to dementia, than those with hearing loss who wear hearing aids
• who opt to not be fitted with hearing aids need to exhaust additional cognitive resources (ie. brain power) engaging in challenging social situations, resulting in additional exhaustion and mental fatigue when with company
• who don’t wear hearing aids are at greater risk of social isolation, loneliness and depression
• without hearing aids are more likely to live sedentary lives with less physical activity
Modern hearing aids provide a number of technological benefits. They can be directly connected to media and phone sources of sound via Bluetooth technology in a similar way to earphone products, and can also access special accessibility settings of the phone, allowing for an enhanced phone or media experience, and greater connectedness to social and other entertainment activities.
Choosing to adopt hearing aids earlier saves the need for looking at other methods of hearing augmentation, such as TV entertainment system upgrades, earphones/headphones or assistive listening apps.
The early bir d gets the worm, and the early hearing aid adopter maximises the benefits of hearing aids. When it comes to maximising the benefits of wearing a hearing aid, there is a lot to gain from acting quickly, and a lot to lose if the decision is delayed. Watch out for the early warning signs that should prompt you to act: Voices are audible but not clear – people tend to sound like they are mumbling more than before.
Situations with background noise are becoming increasingly more difficult You find yourself asking friends and family to repeat themselves often Your TV, car radio or phone are louder than other peoples If you find yourself noticing any of these signs, or have more questions about your hearing ability, book your next appointment today
To book, phone (02) 9159 6122, email: [email protected] or visit www.earstudio.com.au. Ear Studio is located at Suite 9/60 Cecil Avenue, Lawton House in Castle Hill. TRADING HOURS: Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm, Saturday by appointment only. Proudly independent and locally owned