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Posted on Friday, March 09, 2012

Benefits of Upgrading Hearing Aids

Family around table toasting. Hearing loss can make it difficult to understand conversations in a family setting.

Hearing loss can worsen over time, so that an older hearing aid 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 hearing aids might resist getting their hearing checked, getting hearing aids adjusted, or discovering the benefits of new hearing aids. This resistance can cause the same isolation, depression, and cognitive problems as untreated hearing loss. And as one member of our People Hearing Better community tells us, it can also mean the difference between being part of the family or feeling left out.

Grandma Rose refused to believe that her hearing loss had worsened over the years, and her old hearing aids were no longer providing the same benefits.

“What’d you say?”
“Huh?”
“What?”
“Talk in this ear, it works better.”

These are just a few of the responses our family would get when talking with Grandma Rose, age 92. Whether at a one-on-one visit or a larger gathering, she would sit among family and friends feeling a sense of loneliness and isolation. Her quick wit and humor were stunted, because she couldn’t hear and participate in the jovial conversation happening around her. She began to feel left out of the family that she loved.

It was then we realized she needed to upgrade her hearing aids.

Initially she was adamant that her hearing was "just fine" and that new hearing aids wouldn't benefit her. However, we finally persuaded her to get her hearing checked by a hearing healthcare specialist. Grandma Rose was the only person surprised that day to find out her hearing had worsened, and that upgrading her hearing aids would be a huge benefit in how she perceived sounds.

Finally convinced that new hearing aids would benefit her, she was properly fitted with the latest technology.

The day had arrived to pick up the new hearing aids, and what a glorious day it was, not only for Grandma Rose but for everyone! After the doctor inserted the new hearing aids and turned them on, her eyes lit up. “Oh, there must be a problem. What is that noise,” she exclaimed. The doctor gently removed, adjusted and reinserted the hearing aides, hoping to help diagnose the problem. She heard the noise again, a jingling sound. Much to her amazement, and our relief, we identified the noise she heard--the normal sounds of people entering and exiting the office! She hadn't even heard the bells on the door when we had arrived. The true benefits of upgrading her hearing aids really struck home for me then. A short while after leaving she commented on how wonderful it was to hear the birds singing again.

Upgrading her hearing aids turned out to have huge benefits for Grandma Rose and the entire family. It was a blessing for her to hear again, join family discussions, and enjoy life.

Grandma Rose's hearing loss was a gradual decline. She hadn’t realized how much of her hearing she had lost in the years since purchasing her original hearing aides. With an upgrade of hearing aids not only was being able to hear the bells ring, birds sing, and people talking a benefit but she also benefited from visiting with family and friends now that her quality of life was restored.

People Hearing Better is glad that Grandma Rose is enjoying the benefits of her new hearing aids. Sometimes individuals with hearing loss resist annual checkups and visits to their audiologist, but like any degenerative condition regular appointments are necessary to help identify and compensate for decreases in hearing loss. To help keep your hearing health sound, call your doctor today!

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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