5 Things a Person With Hearing Loss Wants From An Audiologist

I’ll never forget my first hearing test. I was in my mid-20s, in graduate school and terrified. My father had hearing loss, as did his mother, so the fact that I was getting a hearing test so early in life was not surprising. It was traumatic nonetheless.

My father felt ashamed of his hearing loss. He went out of his way to hide it by isolating himself from friends, family and co-workers. I remember parties where he would sit alone in the corner, watching and waiting for someone to approach him. At the time, I thought he was just shy. Now I experience hearing loss, too, and I know the truth. He was probably exhausted from trying to hear with all the background noise and decided quiet solitude was better than the embarrassment and effort of not hearing what others had to say.

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Know The Signs: Do You Have Hearing Loss?

I am proud to share my hearing loss story and tips on Mango Health

Hearing loss sneaks up on you gradually, making the signs easy to miss. You might first notice that it’s harder to hear in restaurants and other loud settings. You might ask people to repeat themselves more often or feel like the TV sounds garbled. Hearing health advocate Shari Eberts shares some important warning signs you should know.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

I first noticed my hearing loss in graduate school. Students would make comments in class and sometimes I couldn’t hear them. Looking around the room at everyone laughing at a joke I missed, I felt left out and afraid. Given my genetics — my father and grandmother both had adult onset hearing loss — I knew it was time for a hearing test.

Many people do not recognize the signs and act so quickly. According to audiologists, it takes most people seven to 10 years to seek treatment after first suspecting that they have a hearing problem. This delay can be serious since hearing loss is associated with many health problems, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and a higher incidence of dementia. It is also highly linked to isolation and depression.

Take a look at the list below. If any of these scenarios feel familiar to you, it might be time for a hearing test.

1. Noisy environments make it more difficult for you to hear. Restaurants, cocktail parties, and other social venues have become challenging listening situations. You are unable to follow the conversation over the clinking of cutlery or background music. The same may be true for extracting movie dialogue from the soundtrack special effects.

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What If Hearing Aids Were Noise Canceling?

I love my noise canceling headphones. I wear them to the movies, on planes and at concerts. A flick of the switch and extraneous sound recedes. It is heaven. Sometimes I wonder why this feature is not built into hearing aids. The technology obviously exists. Imagine that same flick of a switch at a restaurant or a noisy cocktail party. The background hum would disappear leaving only the voices loud and clear. Seriously, why does this not exist?

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Do My Hearing Aids Really Help Me Hear Better?

Sometimes I wonder if my hearing aids really help me hear better. I was due for my annual hearing test and asked my audiologist if we could run an experiment. I asked her to test my speech understanding both with my hearing aids and without them. I wanted to see the difference in my word comprehension.

The verdict. They absolutely do.

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When Your Hearing Aid Settings Are Just Wrong

This weekend my hearing aid settings were just wrong. I could hear every background noise, each buzz and beep, but not voices. At dinner, the silverware clinking on the plates blocked out the conversation. In the car, the sound of the wind overpowered the music. My children’s laughter in the back seat was excruciatingly loud, but my husband’s voice beside me was not discernible. I had visited the audiologist the day before and we had made a few tweaks. I couldn’t wait to go back to set things right.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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