Do you Hear the World Around You?
Hearing loss is more common than you might think. In North America, 10% of the population, 30 million people, have some type of hearing loss. Because we communicate by speaking and listening to one another, someone whose hearing loss is left untreated will experience problems in their day-to-day life.
It is important to realize that any amount of hearing loss is an invisible problem. Most hearing losses occur gradually so the signs of hearing loss are difficult to notice.
Signs of Hearing Loss
You need to see an audiologist if:
- The family complains the TV or radio is too loud.
- People seem to mumble when they speak
- You can hear people speaking, but can’t quite understand what they are saying.
- You ask people to repeat what they say more often.
- You have a hard time understanding conversation in a group or at a party.
- You have a ringing or roaring in your ears.
- It is hard to hear on the telephone.
You need to see a doctor immediately if:
- There is active drainage from your ear.
- You experience sudden hearing loss or rapidly decreasing hearing in one or both ears.
- You have sudden or ongoing dizziness.
- Pain or discomfort in the ear.
Good Practices in Hearing Aid Purchases
- You should feel comfortable and confident with the hearing health care professional who is working with you.
- Ask for demonstrations.
- Bring a trusted friend or family member.
- If you already own hearing aids, bring them with you.
- Ask if there is more than one solution for your hearing problems.
- Remember, better hearing is a process, allow yourself at least 45 days for the hearing aid adjustment period.
Value…. second to none
When you purchase hearing aids from Francis Audiology Associates, the hearing aid is just the beginning. In addition to your new instruments, Francis Audiology Associates has a wide variety of assistive devices that can be used in conjunction with your new instruments. “Hands- Free” options are constantly expanding and include telephone use, TV, Radio, just to name some of these additional benefits available. OtoEase lubricant (if indicated), priority appointment scheduling, and 45-day evaluation period.
Effective Communication Strategies
- Speak in a normal tone: Do not shout; shouting distorts your voice and face and hurts the ears of the listener.
- Converse in the same room: Do not converse from one room to another. Important speech sounds do not navigate corners well nor travel through walls.
- Face the listener as you speak: Turning or walking away while conversing renders the listener helpless, frustrated and often times, angry. Hearing impaired listeners rely on gestures and facial expressions to follow the conversation.
- Get the attention of the listener before you begin the statement: A light tap on the shoulder or a wave are pleasant ways of gaining one’s attention. Now they can read your face or “speech read”.
- Speak slowly: Pause between statements. Inform listener of a change in conversation topic.
- Eliminate as much background noise as possible: Even if you must move away from the noise source.
- Do not obscure your face in shadows: A well-lit face helps speech reading.
- Make sure your mouth is visible: Covering your mouth or chewing food distorts speech.
Ask the hearing impaired listener what you can do to make conversation easier!
- Look at the person speaking: Get in the habit of watching the speakers face, even if not necessary. This fosters intelligibility and attention.
- Try not to interrupt: If you let the speaker finish you may gain understanding by the end of the statement.
- Try to listen for ideas or concepts: This may be easier than trying to listen for individual words.
- Try to anticipate the conversation: A conversation with your pastor will probably differ from that of a long time friend. Use the environment or circumstances; if you just saw Big Ben make a great play you probably won’t be talking furnaces.
- Don’t be reluctant to ask for repetition: A polite request demonstrates an effort on your part to accurately follow the conversation.
- Summarize: This will let the speaker know what was misinterpreted or not heard.
Laugh at your mistakes!