Note from Dr. Tammy: Helen Keller was once asked if she could choose between being deaf or blind which she would choose. She indicated that she would chose to be blind because blindness separates us from things but deafness separates us from people. Hearing loss can cause social isolation, depression and we even have new research that shows a correlation to dementia. Staying active and involved in communication with people is key to living a long, happy life.
Waiting on Hearing Aids
Q: Shouldn’t I wait as long as possible to get hearing aids? I mean, I get by without them. Isn’t that ok? ~ Deidra, Puerto Rico
A: It depends on what your hearing loss looks like. There is a gray area between the time you start to lose your hearing and when you are a hearing aid candidate. Just because you have hearing loss does not mean that you are a hearing candidate.
However, delaying too long can be detrimental if you are a candidate. When your brain goes for prolonged amounts of time without hearing it, in essence, gets lazy and will “forget” how to process speech. This is monitored via repeating word lists during your hearing test. As this percentage drops it represents the increase in distortion present in how your brain is processing speech.
Unfortunately, once that speech understanding deteriorates there is nothing we can do to bring it back. Hearing aids will help to keep your ear and your brain active.
Time to Get New Hearing Aids
Q: How do I know when it’s time to replace my hearing aids? ~Sharif from Savannah
A: Think about how you felt before you had hearing aids. You probably had trouble following some conversations, trouble in background noise, and trouble with certain voices. When you start to feel that way again that’s a good sign that you might need new hearing aids.
Also, as your hearing aid gets older it will start to break down more and have more repair issues. You must balance the money you are putting into the repairs with what the cost would be to simply get new.
And finally, hearing aid technology is changing RAPIDLY! Every two or three years the technology will be completely turned over and there will be new features available to you. When you get the itch to see what the latest and greatest is you can get new hearing aids!
Why Get Hearing Aids
Q: There are plenty of things that I don’t need to hear. I hear what I want to. Why should I get hearing aids? ~ Anonymous
A: Look, a lot of people say this. If that’s really the case then fine. You aren’t going to be successful with hearing aids if you go into it thinking that it’s not going to help.
But, I think a lot of people are turned off by the cost or by feedback they’ve heard from other people and they get a thought in their heads that they don’t need hearing aids. Audicus offers affordable hearing aids that can greatly improve your hearing and your quality of life. And as I mentioned previously, the hearing aid technology is completely different than it was just a few years ago. Problems that we battled in the past are not even issues anymore.
Remember your family and friends too. Often then struggle with your hearing loss as much, if not more, than you do.
Give it a try. You always have a trial period to make sure it was a good decision.
If you have a question for Dr. Tammy Flodmand please send it to [email protected]