Maintaining Your Hearing Health Amid COVID-19

The world has changed a lot in the past few weeks. Physical distancing due to COVID-19 has closed restaurants, theaters, and many other “non-essential” businesses, prioritizing health care and access to food and medicines above all else. This has caused many of us to self-isolate, keeping our distance for our safety and that of others, to help flatten the curve of infections. For people with hearing loss, maintaining our hearing health and having access to working hearing aids and other communication devices are critical as we adapt to various ongoing—and often stressful—changes.

Despite this challenging time, stay on top of your hearing health with these tips.

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Reasons to Include Family in Audiology Appointments

Audiologists provide much guidance and support to their patients, but few appointments regularly include family members. This is a missed opportunity. In my latest article for Ida Institute, I describe the ways that including family in audiology appointments can benefit the patient, their families, as well as the audiologists themselves. With Telehealth likely a growing aspect of care in our new COVID-19 world, including the family may be easier to achieve than in the past. An excerpt from the piece appears below. You can read the full article on Ida Institute

Including the Family in Audiology Appointments

Most people with hearing loss start their journey alone. While family members are likely the first people to notice when someone has trouble hearing, they often don’t know how to help. This was the case with my father’s hearing loss. My family knew he had trouble hearing our conversations at dinner and that he was overwhelmed by background noise at parties, but he was so stigmatized by his hearing loss that he never asked for assistance and we never figured out how we could help. As the years passed, my father became increasingly isolated from everyone. I wish we had done more to support him. If only we had known what steps to take, we could have saved much unhappiness and frustration for the whole family.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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Your COVID-19 Hearing Loss Survival Guide

How quickly things change. A few weeks ago I was speaking at a Phonak awards dinner for its top Lyric providers about ways to enhance the provider/patient relationship, planning for two upcoming talks on patient-centered care at the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) 2020 convention, enjoying dinners out, gathering with friends, sending my children to school and practicing yoga at my local studio.

Today, everything is different. My children’s school is closed, the AAA conference is cancelled, and my family and I are hibernating at home in hopes of protecting ourselves and others from the COVID-19 virus. By the time this post is published, other restrictions may be in place. We are all feeling the stress of rapid change, the uncertainty of the unknown, and the disconnectedness that comes from sheltering in place.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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The Day My Hearing Aids Made Me Feel Like a Queen

Do you feel like hearing aids are everywhere in the press these days? First it was the groundbreaking launch by American Girl Doll of Joss, its 2020 girl of the year that not only enjoys surfing, but also wears a hearing aid. Then it was the Queen of England spotted in public for the first time wearing a hearing aid. It is exciting and inspired me to share my thoughts on the subject for HuffPost Personal. 

Hopefully one day soon, someone wearing a hearing aid, no matter their age or occupation will no longer be newsworthy, but until then, the more press coverage the better. Building awareness is the best way to break down stigma, promote hearing aid and assistive listening device usage and build awareness about the ways people with hearing loss are breaking down communication barriers.

Click here to read the story on HuffPost. If it resonates with you, please share it widely to help build momentum for articles about hearing loss in the mainstream media.   

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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Hearing Loss: Why Audiologists Should Recommend Peer Support

Support is important for anyone facing a new challenge. Hearing loss is no different. Audiologists are often the first place people with hearing loss turn when searching for information about their condition. In my latest article for Ida Institute, I encourage audiologists to understand that the emotional aspects of hearing loss are equally important to treat. They can help do that by encouraging patients to seek out a hearing loss support group. I include an excerpt from the piece below. To read the full article click here

Hearing Loss Can Be A Solitary Pursuit

Like most people, I began my hearing loss journey alone, weighed down with stigma and unsure how to best navigate the world with hearing aids. I didn’t know any other people with hearing loss that I could ask for guidance. My father, bogged down with stigma of his own, was no real help. I often felt like I was on my own with this huge challenge, increasingly disconnected from family and friends that did not understand my struggles. Once I found my way to a hearing loss support group, this all changed.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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