The holidays mean a lot of things: they mean hot chocolate and singing, your favorite foods, decorations and presents. The holidays also often mean seeing family and friends, perhaps more often than you’ve seen in a while. This time of year gives us a chance to evaluate our own health and the health of those we love.

Why are the holidays a good time to check hearing health? For many of us, it’s the first time in months that we’ve seen certain family members. Hearing can deteriorate slowly, and it may be harder for someone to recognize hearing loss in themselves—that’s where you come in.

This holiday season make it your mission to (discreetly!) check your loved ones’ hearing health. Early detection is key when managing hearing loss.

Be alert: Signs of hearing loss

When you’re at the dinner table with family and friends, be alert for “What?” Asking someone to repeat themselves over and over is one of the first signs of hearing loss, as the ability to hear conversation decreases. Don’t be too alert, however—you could just have a loud family! Don’t we all.

Another subtle sign of hearing loss is withdrawing from conversation. If your normally-chatty Aunt Cindy is sitting silently and not talking everyone’s ears off like usual, she could be having hearing issues. Hearing loss often leads to isolation, because people feel embarrassed about asking people to repeat themselves or speak up.

Holidays can be a time for introspection, so don’t forget to look inward. Are you experiencing hearing issues yourself? Be aware of how well you follow conversations and if you’re actively participating, or if you’re isolating yourself because you cannot hear.

Taking action on hearing loss

So you’ve noticed one or more signs of hearing loss in your family (or yourself). Acknowledging hearing loss can be intimidating, so Audicus is here to help! Here are some steps to take if you’re concerned you or a loved one might have hearing loss.

  • Take an online hearing test: An online hearing test can get you more information about your hearing loss. And, if you’re unsure whether you have hearing loss or not, it can bring you some peace of mind. Audicus has a comprehensive online hearing test that you can take for free at home.
  • Go to a doctor: While everyone is home together, offer to make a doctor’s appointment for your loved one and accompany them. It’s definitely easier to confront hearing loss when there’s someone by your side. If you take the online hearing test and determine you have some degree of hearing loss, it can be helpful to also consult your primary care doctor or audiologist.
  • Provide support: Help your loved ones know they are not alone. Millions of people in the US live with hearing loss and it doesn’t have to slow them down at all. Do some research on hearing loss and arm yourself with knowledge.
  • Give the gift of hearing: Confront hearing loss head-on (or ear-on) by choosing to treat it. Help your family and friends with hearing loss by going over hearing loss treatment options with them. Take a look at the brand-new Clara from Audicus or search around for whatever device will best fit their needs. If you’re really generous, perhaps surprise them with new hearing aids!

 

By: Elena McPhillips


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