With family gatherings, work parties, special musicals and worship services, the holidays can be a frustrating time for someone with untreated hearing loss and those closest to them.
In fact, some individuals find it so difficult to interact with family and friends at this time of year, they decline social invitations. This can be isolating, and long-term participation restriction has been associated with depression and even dementia.
Fortunately, advanced digital hearing aid technology can help most people challenged by difficult environments and soft voices alike. If you have hearing loss, or suspect you do, start by scheduling a comprehensive hearing evaluation.
During an evaluation, one of our doctoral-level audiologists can determine the extent of your hearing loss and make recommendations for treatment, which may include a customized prescription for hearing aids.
In addition to fitting your hearing aids, Associated Audiologists is one of the few practices in the country to routinely use advanced technology, called Verifit, to be certain your hearing aids are custom programmed for peak performance and safety.
And though hearing aids can improve your hearing in challenging listening environments, here are some additional communication strategies that can help:
- Tell your conversation partner you have hearing loss. Ask this individual to speak clearly by using a deliberate speaking rate.
- Face your communication partner. Visual cues can help you fill in the conversation blanks and ensures your attention is focused on listening. Vision may improve understanding up to 40 percent.
- When in background noise, like a busy restaurant or crowded party, find a quiet corner or table to talk, or choose a less busy time to attend. This will help you remain part of the conversation and creates a better communication environment.
- Family, friends and spouses should expect they may need to repeat what was said more often. Ask your conversation partner to speak at a slower rate, giving your brain time to process what is being said and filling in any information you were unable to understand.
- Consider investing in advanced hearing and assistive technology. It can help by better highlighting speech from other background noise. Some hearing assistive devices available include Bluetooth technology, integrated applications, customized programs, noise reduction algorithms, remote microphones, and digital, adaptive multi-directional microphones. Your audiologist can recommend the best technology for your circumstances.
Call 1-855-547-8745 to schedule an appointment with a doctoral-level audiologist, and give yourself the gift of good hearing this holiday season.