If you’ve recently decided that your hearing health needs attention, the first thing to know is that you’re not alone. In fact, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), almost 40 million American adults report some degree of hearing loss.1 Fortunately, there’s a lot of help out there. Almost 30 million U.S. adults with hearing loss could benefit from using hearing aids, and you could be one of them.2
Today’s hearing aids are digital marvels, smart devices that deliver natural sound while reducing noise automatically, and can provide wireless connectivity to the world of online streaming and entertainment. So to get you started on your journey to better hearing, here are three steps you should take now:
1. Educate Yourself
We encourage you to visit the National Institutes of Health website on hearing and hearing disorders, where you will find all kinds of information to help you better understand how hearing works and how the types and degrees of hearing loss may relate to you. You should also check out the Hearing Loss Association of America for more support along your journey. Besides online research, talk to people you know who have hearing loss — when you start asking around, you may find there are more than you think, and many are willing to share their experiences with you.
2. Make an Appointment For an Evaluation
Hearing care professionals specialize in hearing disorders. Once we test your hearing and analyze your situation, we will work with you to come up with a treatment option that will best suit your hearing needs and your lifestyle. Why a hearing specialist? An Audiologist or other hearing care professional can test your hearing andrecommend a hearing aid solution. We are licensed, highly skilled, and trained to give you personalized attention and service.
3. Prepare for Your Visit
Once you have an appointment scheduled, prepare yourself with information about your lifestyle and current hearing situations and be open to discussing these with your provider.
• Start with a list of common situations where hearing is difficult for you. This reveals details about your hearing loss and your lifestyle, and is very helpful in determining the right solution for your hearing condition.
• List your top concerns. Are you frustrated in certain situations? Nervous to try hearing aids? Self-conscious about your hearing? Concerned about costs or appearance? Sharing your concerns can help us identify the best solution for your lifestyle.
• As you learn, keep an open mind. You might be surprised at how many possibilities are available. Be prepared to embrace the changes ahead of you so you can more fully participate in conversations and enjoy the sounds of everyday life.
A final thought: bringing a relative or a good friend with you can give you another perspective on your hearing and provide a sounding board for discussing your results after the appointment.
Remember, start by educating yourself at the websites mentioned above. Talk to friends who have hearing loss. Make an appointment to come in and see us. Write down the issues, concerns, and questions you would like to ask at your appointment. Now you’re well on your way to making better hearing part of your life.
1 NIDCD Website: Blackwell DL, Lucas JW, Clarke TC. Summary health statistics for U.S. adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2012(PDF). National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 10(260). 2014.
2 NIDCD: Epidemiology and Statistics Program, based on December 2015 Census Bureau estimates of the noninstitutionalized U.S. population, personal communication; May 2016