Hearing loss causes isolation by making you feel like you are not plugged into the world you’re your relationships. Maybe you have found you opt to stay home versus attending social engagements to avoid putting yourself in setting where you can’t hear well. During the holidays, this is particularly apparent, when family and friends get together in large groups to celebrate with each other. If you don’t want to miss out, there are some options available.
You may already begin thinking about bulky hearing aids of days past. Fear not! Today’s model of hearing aid can be so tiny, no one will even notice (except you, thanks to the clarity of sound.) More than that, fewer than one in five adults who could benefit from hearing aids actually wears them. Are you one of them?
If so, you should know that hearing loss can negatively affect:
- Job performance,
- Mental health and function,
- Social activity,
- even safety.
Basically, untreated hearing loss severely affects the quality of a person’s life. If a hearing impaired person is involved in important conversations about medical care, insurance matters, or legal concerns, it can be very upsetting – or even dangerous – for them to lose the message simply because they have a difficult time hearing the conversation.
Consider this: according to a National Council on Aging survey, hearing impaired adults age 50 and older are more likely to report:
- Paranoia and less social activity than those who wear hearing aids.
A closer analysis of the survey concluded that hearing aid use was associated with a 36% reduction in depression among this age group.
Purchasing a hearing aid sometimes requires a significant financial investment, so it’s important to choose a hearing aid dispenser with your best interests in mind. A hearing aid specialist can provide a hearing test and help select the proper device, but most importantly, she will also be available to offer ongoing support and instruction.
Lori Fish, M.S.-A always offers free hearing screenings by appointment to adults 18 and over at Fort HealthCare’s Ear, Nose & Throat Clinics in Fort Atkinson, Whitewater and Edgerton.