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Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How to Improve Hearing

Male audiologist smiles knowing he can improve patient hearing

Improving hearing is important for emotional as well as physical health. Properly fitted and adjusted hearing aids can be a big part of improving hearing. Unfortunately, people continue to buy hearing aids online or in other venues that don't allow for repeated visits and adjustments--a necessary aspect of getting hearing aids aligned with individual hearing loss. Not adjusting hearing aids or getting them properly fitted by a hearing health professional can mean frustration and time and can be an impediment to improving hearing.

Thirteen years ago, after a work related hearing loss, Tom Allen invested in hearing aids. He was unhappy with them as a hearing loss solution, because he didn’t feel they gave him back enough of his hearing to be worthwhile. After using them off and on, he stopped using them altogether. A few years passed, and as is often the case with hearing loss, his spouse pointed out how exhausting communicating with Tom had become. She told him, “I’m tired of you always saying “huh?” to me.” She also complained that he turned the television up way too loud. Tom took this seriously and began to consider getting new, properly fit, hearing aids. His decision was made when his granddaughter, who visited and stayed overnight often, told him, “I wish you’d get hearing aids, so I could be sure you hear me talk and play the piano.”

Tom made an appointment with a certified audiologist. After his examination, he found out his hearing had deteriorated, and that he would benefit from newer hearing aids. He was surprised to learn that many adults take years to seek the best hearing loss solution, and that his story was sadly typical. Often it’s a family members loving support the spurs people with hearing loss to go to a hearing health professional. His doctor discussed with Tom the best options available for him to improve his hearing.

While his doctor measured him for the hearing aids, Tom began to wonder how much of the world he’d been missing.

He found out. As he told us, “With the hearing aids in my ears I turned on the light above the stove one night and it "beeped!" What a surprise. I wasn't prepared for when our small dog barked either. It was like a super-loud gunshot going off. I can now hear people talking to me at work, and that's a loud, busy environment, but with my hearing aids I could now focus on numerous things going on at once, and not miss anything.”

Tom’s good news doesn’t stop with being able to hear his wife, the dog, and his co-workers. He can also now fully enjoy his eight-year-old granddaughter. On the day he picked up his hearing aids from his ENT, his granddaughter was visiting and asked to go along. He took her, and she watched and waited as her grandfather had his first fitting for his hearing aids. On the way home, his granddaughter tapped her fingers—much like the little piano player she is, on the seat and asked her grandfather to tell her how many taps she’d done. She was thrilled when he got the number right. She was now sure that he was hearing her all the time. When they arrived back at the house, she excitedly told her grandmother all about the trip, and Tom listened to the whole conversation, feeling he'd reconnected with his family.

Tom Allen was hard of hearing for thirteen years, and during that time he barely used his improperly tuned hearing aids, but a visit to a qualified physician revealed that his hearing loss had worsened and could be improved with properly fitted hearing loss solutions. See your audiologist to have your hearing aids properly fitted and adjusted.

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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