How To Find The Right Audiologist For You

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a “Good Housekeeping” Seal of approval for audiologists? In my latest post for Ida Institute, I describe what they hope will become the standard benchmark of quality for person-centered care in audiology. I share an excerpt from the piece below. To read the full article click here

When my audiologist retired a year ago, I was devastated. We had invested a lot of time together to find the right programming for my hearing aids and had built a strong working relationship. She was caring, knowledgeable, and always willing to help. She understood my hearing challenges and partnered with me on my communication priorities. How could I replicate this positive dynamic with someone new?

As time passed, I felt more confident. I was no longer an inexperienced hearing aid wearer and knew what I required from an audiologist and how to ask for it. This included many of the components of person-centered care I highlighted in my recent blog series on this topic. I was looking for an audiologist who:

  1. Listens to my particular hearing needs and focuses my care around those.
  2. Runs a hearing loss friendly office with a receptionist I can understand.
  3. Champions new technologies in both hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
  4. Believes best practice communication tools are just as important as technology.

Finding the right person was still difficult. I checked online listings for audiologists in my area, but the metrics presented did not include person-centered care. I reached out to my local hearing loss friends, but many were not satisfied with the care they received and suggested I look elsewhere.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

Continue reading

Hearing Loss & Allergy Season: A Nightmare in Pollen

It’s allergy season. That stuffy-nosed, watery-eyed, and always itchy part of the year. When the sniffles begin, I know my hearing is about to take a temporary dip. On my worst allergy days, I feel like I am walking in a fog. Sounds are muffled and my ears are popping more than usual as they work to clear the increased pressure.

Each time I move my head I can almost feel the fluid shifting position, bringing on dizziness or even vertigo. Sometimes it can even cause my tinnitus to spike. Allergies are miserable for everyone, but when you have a hearing loss, they can take a significant toll on your ability to communicate.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

Continue reading

What My Hearing Loss Has Taught Me

Big birthdays breed reflection and so it was a few months ago that I realized I have had hearing loss for almost half my life — probably longer since it often takes time for someone to notice their own hearing problems. I’ve been using hearing aids for less time — it took me a while to come out of my hearing loss closet — but I now wear them with pride. I am grateful daily for the help they provide, even if they are far from perfect.

While my hearing loss presents constant challenges, looking back, I realized it has also taught me so much. I share those lessons with you below. Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

Continue reading

The Language of Disability: What’s In a Name?

In Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Juliet famously asks, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” She wonders how the name someone has can define them, rather than the characteristics of the person himself. This seems logical enough, a name is just shorthand for describing an actual object or state of being, but when it comes to disability, a name can take on significant meaning.

I recently attended a panel discussion hosted by the Museum, Arts and Culture Access Consortium (MAC), a group whose mission is to promote access and inclusion at cultural institutions in the NY metro area. I have been to a handful of their workshops and always learn something. This session focused on language and disability, and the importance of getting the words right in order to reduce stigma and promote conversation about disability. A very complex issue.

I share my take-aways from the meeting below. Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

Continue reading

5 Reasons You Should NOT Ignore Your Hearing Loss

Today I share an excerpt from an article I wrote for Hearing Tracker.

Let’s be honest. It is tempting to ignore your hearing loss. You rationalize the times you don’t hear things, thinking, “If only he would stop mumbling,” or “This restaurant was just too loud.” Those things may be true, but so, too, is your difficulty hearing.

Hearing loss often comes on gradually, making it hard to detect as it is happening. Once treated, people are often amazed at the sounds that they have been missing — birds chirping, water running in the faucet, the refrigerator humming — many of which they have not heard for years.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

Continue reading