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New Year, New Hearing, New You!

By Dr. Brittany Spahr and Dr. Katie Slade, Doctors Hearing Clinic

 

Around this time, everyone starts making promises and New Year’s resolutions for themselves. Some people might want to lose weight or maybe this is the year you decide to stop smoking. Or maybe your resolution is something smaller, like remembering to call your friends and family more often. All of those are great things to strive for this year; however, you may be overlooking another important change. This year why not make your New Year’s resolution to address your hearing loss and start improving your hearing?

I know what you must be thinking: Your hearing is not that bad. You get by just fine with the volume on the television cranked all the way up. Your friends don’t mind that much when you ask them to repeat what they have said during the conversation. Or I don’t have hearing loss everyone is just mumbling.

That’s fair enough and those are common hesitations. But do you really want to just “get by?” Life is too short to miss out on your family and friends’ conversations, and your hearing isn’t going to get any better. Any degree of hearing loss/communication difficulty you have now is most likely going to get worse if left untreated. Hearing loss that goes untreated has been linked to various health concerns including depression and feelings of isolation in older adults. You may only be missing parts of the conversation now, but in a few years, you may be missing out on so much more and you won’t be “getting by” so easily. There’s no reason to miss out on communicating with loved ones and hearing the world around you.

Unlike dieting or quitting smoking, better hearing is easily obtainable because it is just a phone call away. The first step to addressing your hearing loss is making an appointment with Doctors Hearing Clinic. Once we determine your type of hearing loss, we’ll help you select the best hearing devices and treatment options for you. It doesn’t take a lot of time or energy, it just takes a simple phone call. We’ll guide you through the rest.

There are plenty of reasons to start addressing your hearing loss this year. One reason for treating your hearing loss is to change how you feel and function with being able to hear your friends and family and the world around you. Individuals who have addressed their hearing loss with hearing aids report that their relationships with friends and family members have improved after wearing hearing aids because of better and easier communication. Another reason to address your hearing loss is that it can have a positive effect on one’s self-confidence, mood, relationships, and can overall improve their quality of life. Research has shown that hearing loss can lead to isolation and depression. However, after addressing hearing loss many people feel a sense of empowerment because they are missing out on less and do not have to depend on other people as much to stay connected.

Additionally, research from John Hopkins reported that individuals with unaddressed hearing loss are at a higher risk for memory loss and dementia. A greater probability of developing memory loss and dementia corresponds with the severity of the hearing loss.  Unaddressed hearing loss is also a safety concern in regards to hearing warning signals and individuals with hearing loss are at an increased risk for falls. Addressing your hearing loss will not only improve your quality of life by having more self-confidence, and better communication, it was also decrease some health risks that are associated with untreated hearing loss. Lastly, with older individuals staying in the work force longer, research has stated that people who address their hearing loss with hearing aids have the potential to earn more money than people who don’t address their hearing loss. Individuals with hearing loss have shown to be more stressed and tired at work from having to strain to listen and also have more difficulty communicating with employees and customers. Being stressed and tired along with difficulty communicating are contributing factors to decreased earning potential when in comparison with someone who has addressed their hearing loss with hearing aids.

Addressing your hearing loss and getting better hearing is a New Year’s resolution that’s easy to keep. All you have to do after addressing your hearing loss is wear your hearing aids daily and practice good communication skills to have optimal results and you will begin to see what you’ve been missing all these years. Make your resolution to hear better this year and every year. Contact Doctors Hearing Clinic at (334) 396-1635 to schedule an appointment for a hearing evaluation to start the process of addressing your hearing loss and start hearing better for 2015 and all the years to come! We wish you a happy New Year!

 

Content adapted from The Better Hearing Institute: http://www.betterhearing.org/news/ring-holiday-season-hearing-test

 

Written by Dr. Katie Slade, a Board Certified Audiologist in Alabama, Dr. Brittany Spahr a licensed audiologist in Alabama and a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, and Amy Davis, Doctoral Extern, University of South Alabama.

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