Posted on Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hearing Aid Benefits

Grandmother and granddaughter discuss hearing aid benefits.

The average person waits ten years before correcting hearing loss. Not only can this wasted time be stressful for spouse and family, requiring exhaustive interactions—shouting to be heard, repeating things, relating other’s comments, but it can also be dangerous for the person suffering with hearing loss. Shannon Caseber knows exactly how hard it is to watch someone you love slip into silence rather than face the truth about their hearing loss and invest in hearing aids. She also knows exactly how dangerous it can be, because this refusal almost cost her grandmother her life.

When Shannon’s grandmother reached her mid-seventies, she began to become hard of hearing. The family tried to compensate—not knowing this is one of the worst things you can do for a loved one suffering with hearing loss. They spoke louder, repeated themselves, and thus continued to allow her the support system that made her refusal to get help possible. Though Shannon and other members of the family tried to point out to “Gram” the need for hearing aids, she, as Shannon puts it, "stubbornly refused…to get any sort of hearing aids claiming she didn’t need it.”

The routine of speaking louder continued until, “It got to the point where having conversations ended in yelling replies to her so she could hear, only to have her reprimand us for yelling in the house!”

Shannon patiently explained that she yelled in order to be heard, but denial is one of the hardest parts of dealing with hearing loss. Finally, her grandmother realized that she could no longer ignore her need to see an audiologist. She went to her doctor and discussed her hearing health options. She received her new hearing aids, had them fitted, and returned home to a more engaged lifestyle.

Three weeks later, her grandmother was home alone cooking dinner. She put her food to simmer and went to sit down in the living room. As Shannon tells us, “She ended up dozing off.”

While her gram slept, her dinner burned then caught fire. The fire alarm started blaring, and thanks to her new heairng aids, the noise startled her awake. Gram acted quickly, finding the fire extinguisher and putting out the flames. The fire department was also called, and no lasting damage was sustained. Shannon tells us, “I am so thankful she was able to overcome her misconceptions about hearing aid's in time, because I firmly believe it saved her life.”

We’re thankful too, Shannon, and grateful to you for sharing your gram’s story with us. It's been shown that hearing aids improve memory, income, and overall happiness, and now there's another reason to restore hearing health. We hope this serves as an inspiration for others and a reminder of how important it is to take care of your hearing, not just so that the person with hearing loss can engage with family, friends, and community, but so they can have that extra layer of safety in an increasingly busy and crowded world.

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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