Once upon a time, hearing aids meant big, heavy, ugly “beige bananas” worn on the ear to make sounds louder. They were hard to put on, hard to make adjustments to, and frankly, they were pretty terrible at doing anything other than making all sounds louder…this includes speech, background noise, loud ventilation machines, dogs barking, plates changing, etc.!
For the majority of patients, wearing an old-fashioned hearing aid meant avoiding certain social situations, restaurants, family gatherings, playing with grandchildren, etc. Many people still cling to the unfounded notion that all hearing aids are created equal and perform the same way they did back in 1982!
The fact of the matter is that Hearing Science and clinical science of treating hearing loss is more than just hearing aids. How much more? Hearing Science and the medical treatment of hearing loss is devoted to restoring an individual’s clarity, restoring personal independence, improving cognitive aspects of hearing loss that can increase the risk of developing dementia.
Maintaining proper hearing and cognitive health has a significant impact on an individual’s life – including all of his or her family, friends, and community members. Properly stimulating cognitive function and maintaining connections from the ear to the brain goes a long way in keeping a patient mentally competent, helping the patient remain autonomous, and helping keep at bay the mind-robbing diseases associated with cognitive decline (i.e. Alzheimer’s). Treating hearing loss is a wonderful investment with life-long returns, and yet people still fear walking into a hearing health care provider’s office for one simple reason – fear of the unknown!
In the next 5 blogs, we are going to list the top 5 reasons people avoid seeing a hearing care specialist, identified by Dr. Keith Darrow in his book “Stop Living In Isolation”. Hope all of us understand the importance of hearing loss treatment.