Hearing loss represents one of the greatest unresolved health challenges worldwide. In the United States over 48 million people of all ages (predominantly over 40) are afflicted yet remain untreated and is the 3rd most common health condition following heart disease and arthritis. Fortunately, as hearing loss is one of the most common health issues in the world, it is also one of the most treatable.
Because you are here, it’s likely that you suspect, or already know, that you or a loved one has permanent hearing problem. If you haven’t received a Hearing Screening or Hearing Test recently, iHEAR offers both a free online hearing screening, and the only FDA-approved at-home Hearing Test available on the market. We encourage you to test your hearing as soon as possible. If you discover that you have permanent hearing loss, the first step along your Journey to Better Hearing is… acceptance.
Acceptance or Denial:
It is normal for most people to go through a period of denial. Unfortunately, most people wait five to seven years before solving their hearing problem. Common responses from people in denial of their hearing loss are:
- “I hear fine, it’s just that people mumble; they talk too fast.”
- “It’s the noisy places where I have trouble hearing…I just avoid those places.”
- “My hearing will heal in time.”
- “I hear what I need to hear. I just have to ask people to repeat themselves sometimes.”
- “I can cope with it. I’ll just concentrate a little harder.”
- “It’s really not bad enough that I need hearing aids yet.”
- “Wearing hearing aids makes me look old. If my hearing gets any worse, then I’ll get help.”
Denial of your hearing loss often leads to a downward social spiral that may include:
- Giving up your favorite activities to avoid embarrassment.
- Avoiding all situations in which hearing could be difficult.
- Losing your sharpness, your vibrant self.
- Unknowingly shifting your burden to your loved ones.
- Loved ones giving up on you.
- Becoming a victim of your decision to do nothing.
The first step to overcoming your communication difficulties is admitting to yourself and your nearest loved one(s)…
- That your hearing loss is affecting the quality of your life.
- That medication will not ‘open up’ your ears.
- That there is no surgery that will correct sensorineural or a mixed-type hearing loss.
- That your friends, loved ones, clients, and associates already know you have a problem hearing.
- That the only positive choice you have is hearing aids.
Make a Personal Choice to Seek Help with a Good Attitude
It is not the purchase of a product which will give you better hearing. Only about 20 percent of your success to achieve better hearing will depend on the performance of the hearing aid products you purchased.
The fundamental requirement to overcome your hearing problem is your deep, driving desire to learn and a vigorous determination to increase your ability to hear. The six characteristics present in all who successfully complete the transition to hearing aids are:
- Positive attitude.
- Willingness to learn.
- Relentless commitment – don’t quit.
- Time spent practicing the use of hearing aids.
- Patience while your brain acclimates to ambient sounds and noises.
- Effort that matches your desire to increase your ability to hear.
Hearing aids will not bring you instant gratification. They are not like eyeglasses - which by simply putting them on will result in clear vision. Hearing aids are more like skates; buying a good pair is only the starting place. Time spent in practice, with a patient and willing attitude, is the most important step. To achieve better hearing, you must work at it daily. The ability to hear again must be relearned - not simply purchased.
As you begin your Journey to Better Hearing, a positive attitude will not only affect your success, but will be an encouragement to everyone you know.