I am proud to share my hearing loss story and tips on Hearing Tracker.
Hearing loss sneaks up on people gradually, so it is sometimes difficult to detect oneself. Often, friends and family are the first to notice. The average person waits 7-10 years before treating their hearing loss. Part of this is due to stigma, but part is not knowing the steps to take to find out more about hearing loss and to construct a plan for treatment. Here are my tips for taking the first few steps along your hearing loss journey. Please share your ideas in the comments.
Take a Hearing Test
For an initial assessment, you should see an audiologist, or your primary care physician if you need a referral. At your first visit to an audiologist, the hearing loss specialist will examine you physically and perform a series of hearing tests to determine the type and degree of your loss. Online hearing tests are also now available, including The National Hearing Test, which was created through a grant from the National Institutes of Health and is provided on a non-profit basis. There is a small fee to take the test. If hearing loss is confirmed, you move onto the treatment phase of your care.
Find the Right Audiologist For You
If you have a hearing loss, the right audiologist can be a true partner in your care. Find an audiologist that has experience with your type of hearing loss, offers a variety of hearing aid brands and other assistive technologies and takes a person-centered approach. When possible, get a recommendation from a friend or a trusted doctor, or read reviews online to find someone with the skills and manner you desire. If the first audiologist you see does not feel right for you, try someone else. A good personal fit is important.
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