Posted on Friday, June 29, 2012

Upgrading Your Listening Devices

Doctor looks in patients ear to determine if she needs to upgrade her listening device.

Hearing loss can worsen over time, so that listening devices that once made things clear and intelligible now provides less clarity. Just like with the original loss of hearing this decline sometimes goes unnoticed and individuals comfortable with their listening devices might resist getting their hearing checked, getting hearing aids adjusted, or discovering the benefits of new listening devices. This resistance can cause the same isolation, depression, and cognitive problems as untreated hearing loss. But as one member of our People Hearing Better community tells us, getting new listening devices can make all the difference.

It had been some time before Carmen Audas recognized that she needed to return to her audiologist and have her hearing retested. She was comfortable with her listening devices, so for awhile she adjusted to her declining hearing loss by asking people to repeat themselves or hiring the volume on the television. Once she visited her audiologist, she discovered the truth--her hearing had gotten worse. Now fully aware of the problem, Carmen decided to try new listening devices.

Carmen's new listening devices with their sophisticated and adaptable technologies changed the way she interacted with the world. As she tells People Hearing Better, "At 70 years old I finally feel like a grownup. I don't have to ask anyone to repeat things."

In addition to being able to hear conversation and not having to rely on anyone else to relate information, Carmen also feels as if her new listening devices give her more control over her environment. She tells us her new hearing aids are, "The best thing that has happened to me in a long time. I have a remote control with this new set and I can raise and lower voices, hear the telephone in both ears."

Many of today's listening devices can be paired with a remote control and work wirelessly, so that a conversation on the phone is delivered from one hearing aid to the other, making talking on the phone--once difficult, much easier and enjoyable. In addition to being able to communicate when on the phone, Carmen is able to adapt her hearing aids to circumstance, so, "if I am in a group and I need just a bit more volume I can do it with the remote control and the same with lowering the sounds."

Carmen's experience of freedom and self-confidence with her new listening devices is not unusual. As a recent study done by Hear-the-World shows, people who improve their hearing with hearing aids more often reported better relationships with their families, better feelings about themselves, improved mental health, and greater independence and security.

The true impact of untreated hearing loss, which includes not upgrading listening devices, is on emotional health that can lead to depression and feelings of isolation. Upgrading listening devices can eliminate this sense of isolation. As Carmen tells us, "I am not so alone in the world and I don't need the television turned up so the neighbors can hear it. Best of all I can hear my niece and nephew when they come to visit and when they get a bit loud I can tune them down. I hear the birds and cats meowing. What great sounds they are! I love my new hearing aids and only wish everyone could hear as well as I do now!"

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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