Podcast: Hearing Health Advocacy With Shari Eberts

I am thrilled to have been a guest on The Hearing Journal’s podcast series hosted by Clifford Olson, AuD. In it, I discuss how and why I got into hearing loss advocacy and provide suggestions to the audiologist community for how they can provide more patient centered care to people with hearing loss.

To listen to the podcast, click here.  The transcript (edited for easier reading) is below.

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What This Hearing Aid Wearer Learned At An Audiology Conference

I am proud to share my hearing loss story and tips on Hearing Tracker

A Unique Opportunity

I was lucky to present recently at the American Academy of Audiology’s annual convention in Nashville held April 18-21, 2018. You can read about my presentation here. It was a fascinating experience to attend an audiology conference, not as an audiologist, but as a patient. It was interesting to attend the various educational sessions for the audiologists, listen in on the latest product launches from the hearing aid manufacturers, and walk the expansive exhibition hall to explore new and innovative products for people with hearing loss. I am so glad I attended.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

Positive take-homes from the AAA conference

1. Audiologists are genuinely concerned for our welfare. There were many sessions describing the details of patient-centered care in attempts to provide more personalized and effective hearing care for people with hearing loss. These talks were well attended and numerous questions were raised.

2. Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing devices are slowly being accepted. While there seemed to be push-back from some audiologists when the OTC hearing aid concept was first floated, most sessions at AAA 2018 seemed to regard OTC as a done deal. Attention was focused on how to best integrate OTC hearing aid wearers into an audiology practice, rather than rejecting the initiative entirely.

Click here to read more positives on Hearing Tracker. 

Negative take-homes from the AAA conference

1. Limited hearing assistance was offered. Few sessions were captioned or had listening assistive technology available. This was not surprising since the audience did not likely include many people with hearing issues, but making the options available would have shown respect for the people who did need them.

2. Poor communication habits were on display. At many of the sessions, questions were asked without using microphones and presenters did not repeat these questions before answering them. This is fairly typical at large meetings, but I had hoped for better from professionals whose job is focused on improving communication.

Click here to read more negatives on Hearing Tracker. 

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How Do You Imagine The Hearing Aid Of The Future?

Hearing aid technology advances every day, but of course, those of us who wear hearing aids wish it would advance even faster. Today’s hearing aids range from simple analog devices to souped-up digital models with T-coils, multiple situational programs, rechargeable batteries and connectivity to smart phones. But the hearing aids of the future will likely offer even more features.

Here is my wish list. Please add your thoughts in the comments.

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How Can Audiologists Help Their Patients Hear Their Best?

I recently presented a mini module at the American Academy of Audiology’s annual convention in Nashville. My talk was well attended and I received numerous comments and questions from the audience after the presentation. I am excited and grateful to have had the opportunity to share the patient’s perspective with such an impressive group of audiologists and related hearing professionals. Below I share my remarks from the meeting. I hope to have the opportunity to speak on this topic again soon.  

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What To Do When You Think You Have A Hearing Loss

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.

what-to-do-when-you-have-a-hearing-loss

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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