Are hearing aids lower on your grocery list than, say, brussels sprouts or garbage bags?
Even though a health professional has confirmed that you will benefit from hearing aids, do you keep putting off actually getting them? If so, you’re not alone – studies show that only 20% of people who need hearing aids, actually use one.
Your family doctor wants you to have your hearing checked by an audiologist. You don’t want to because your hearing is just fine, thank you very much; you’re not old enough to need them and you hear just as much as you want to.
Or maybe your friend – let’s call him Tom – has tried hearing aids and all he talks about is how much he hates them. They make everything too loud and he doesn’t like the feeling of them in his ears, or how they look behind his ears. Turns out Tom needs his audiologist to adjust his aid’s settings. He also needs an attitude update!
Everyone’s hearing loss is different, requiring different solutions. But for most people, there are many well-documented reasons to adopt hearing aids, and not a single good one not to. So why do so many of us resist taking the plunge? Or if we do, why do too many of us wear them for a week and then stick them in a drawer, pulling them out only for important social occasions, which often flop thanks to “that thing not working right”?
Times have changed. Hearing aids have changed. Let’s take a look at Ten Good Reasons why the majority of us with hearing loss should:
- get a hearing aid
- wear it
- keep wearing it!
1) You’ll Hear Better!
The simplest and the best reason. Most hearing loss can’t yet be ‘cured’ by medicine or surgery, but a hearing aid will restore many of nature’s auditory gifts.
2) You’ll Look Better!
People with hearing loss have a habit of frowning when we’re trying to understand what’s being said. Eliminate that unpleasant frown-y face and get rid of those vacant, blank looks that tell your friends you’re not following the conversation. Improved comprehension with a hearing aid will ease much of the frustration, irritation and feelings of isolation that prevent you from being your most smiling, attractive, and connected self.
3) You’ll Sound Better!
Your speech will become clearer to you and others – because you’re now hearing your own voice better. You will have better volume control of your speech, with less shouting or whispering.
4) You’ll Feel Better!
Wearing a hearing aid is a powerful statement of the value you place on yourself, your relationships and your role in the world. Conversations will be more satisfying. Better connections with the people you love or who interest you, is a boost to better health.
5) Your Posture Will Improve!
Your neck won’t thrust out at right angles to your body as you try to move your ear closer to the sound source. Your spine won’t hunch as you retreat from difficult social interaction. You will stand straighter with confidence.
6) You Won’t Stand Out in a Crowd!
Everyone wears something in their ears these days. And the new high-tech, sound-enhancing hearing aids are nothing like the ones our grandparents used.
7) Your Family Life Will Improve!
Relatives and friends will tune in and start listening to you again when it’s clear that you’re now hearing them. It’s not a relative’s hearing loss that irritates family members, but the unwillingness to admit their loss and to do something about it.
8) Love May Bloom Again!
Whether it’s with your life-long partner or someone new, nothing boosts romance like good communication. And for a person with hearing loss, that’s almost impossible without a well-fitted hearing aid. Hearing someone say “I love you” is the best sound in the world.
9) Your Social Life Will Improve!
Whatever activity you enjoy with other people, enjoy it again. be able to converse better in situations that had become torture with your increasing inability to hear well. A hearing aid may be the best social foot forward you ever make!
10) You’ll Stay Smarter!
The onset of hearing loss has nothing to do with diminished brainpower. But studies show that people with unaddressed hearing loss have a higher incidence of dementia. This threat is diminished by using hearing aids.
11) Bonus: Your Tinnitus May Improve!
Many people suffer from chronic noise in their heads. There are many causes and science has not yet discovered cures. However, many people find hearing aids help diminish the sounds of tinnitus.
Gael Hannan is a writer, speaker and advocate on hearing loss issues. In addition to her weekly blog for Hearing Health & Technology Matters, which has an international following, Gael wrote the acclaimed book “The Way I Hear It: A Life with Hearing Loss”. She is regularly invited to present her uniquely humorous and insightful work to appreciative audiences around the world. Gael has received many awards for her work, which includes advocacy for a more inclusive society for people with hearing loss. She lives with her husband on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.