What Should You Do When Nobody Sees Your Hearing Loss Struggle

Invisible Woman on Bench | What To Do When Nobody Can See Your Hearing Loss Struggle

What happens if you are the only one to realize you have hearing loss? It’s a common scenario among elderly people. They fight to stay involved in conversations but the people around them assume there are other reasons they seem distracted. Older folks can suffer from a number of issues that make them seem distant. It’s possible hearing loss is not the first conclusion they draw.

Hearing loss is an invisible disability, too. In other words, there is nothing to point that hurts. You can’t show someone the problem. It’s hard to understand how hearing loss affects your life unless you experience it for yourself. So, what should a person who thinks they have hearing loss do to make themselves heard?

Get Others Involved

Put your friends and family to working solving your hearing mystery, explains the National Institute on Deafness and Other Hearing Disorders. Even if you think you have hearing loss, it might be difficult to be sure that’s what’s happening without some feedback from the people in your life. Ask them straight out if they think it’s a problem. Pose questions like:

  • Have they noticed you asking them to repeat themselves often?
  • Are you turning the TV up too loud?
  • Are you misunderstanding what they tell you sometimes?
  • It might be the idea of hearing loss just hasn’t occurred to them. Once you bring it up in conversation, they might start picking up on the clues.

Ask the Doctor for a Hearing Test

A physician that sees you one a year of a wellness check may not pick up on your hearing problems. Many conditions that lead to hearing loss don’t present with physical symptoms that a physician will see when examining your ears, either.

If you suspect hearing is causing you a problem, then it’s time to speak up. The doctor can ask questions to clarify your concern and even do same baseline tests in the office prior to sending you for a more comprehensive hearing test with an audiologist. None of that will happen, though, if you fail to make the doctor aware of your hearing loss.

Make Changes on Your Own

Once you have a real diagnosis and a professional hearing test, you have everything you need to improve your hearing health. For most people, hearing loss is a treatable condition. With the right tools at your disposal, your hearing loss will have less of an impact, so you struggle less. The audiologist and your doctor can look at your test results and help you make smart decisions designed to improve your life like getting hearing aids and other assistive listening devices.

Go slow picking out hearing aids to give yourself a chance to explore all the different features available and come up with the right mix for your needs. A certified hearing aid retailer will sit with you and go over the benefits of each brand and model. You will learn how different features work, too. Look for a dealer that offers a trial period, as well. This gives you the chance to test drive each feature, so you know if you need it or not.

Don’t Go It Alone

What they don’t know can hurt you, so talk to the people in your life. Make them understand your concerns about your hearing loss and make them part of the solution. Take a friend or family member with you to the doctor and when you go for your hearing test. Let them help as you listen to the diagnosis and the interpretation of the range of your hearing loss. Make them part of the decision-making process as you pick out the different hearing aids you want to try.

Just because you have hearing loss, doesn’t mean you have to live with it alone. When you incorporate your family into the process, you make them apart of that world, too. You are no longer the only one who understands what hearing loss is like and how it affects your life. By including them, you help them see what they can’t see otherwise.

Hearing loss is a life changer but so much harder when you struggle with it alone, so don’t. You are taking a courageous step by dealing with your loss, now; help your friends and family understand it with you.

5 Common Things You Might Tell Yourself to Deny Hearing Loss

Man Holding his Ears | People Who Deny Hearing Loss

I’m sure it’s not my hearing because…if you find yourself saying that these days than you already understand how easy it is to deny hearing loss. The Hearing Loss Association of America explains that simply knowing that hearing loss exists is the biggest obstacle people face. It starts with admitting there’s a problem and then getting proactive about it. The first step is to see a doctor and get a professional hearing test. Consider some of the more common excuses people use to deny their hearing loss.

1. The Change is Gradual, So You Don’t Notice

This is especially true with age-related hearing loss. This form of hearing loss can early and get progressively worse over time. People don’t always notice it until little things start happening like a family member harping on them about the TV being too loud or they feel like they are always behind in the conversation. For some, the first real symptom that there is a hearing problem comes with the onset of tinnitus or ringing in the ears. By the time the ringing starts, though, the loss is already affecting your life.

2. You Pass the Hearing Loss Buck

It’s not you; it’s that outdated television set. Maybe it’s not you but the spouse who is always mumbling. Your first instinct may be to pass the buck because it just doesn’t occur to most people that they have a hearing problem. If your hearing has always been so good, why would you suddenly think it is failing? It probably seems much more likely that what you are trying to hear is at fault even though that is rarely the case.

3. The Doctor Didn’t Say You Had a Hearing Problem

During your last check-up, the doctor didn’t say anything to you about hearing loss, so it must not exist. The problem with that excuse is even the best doctor can miss a hearing problem unless he or she knows to look for it.

This form of age-related hearing loss generally affects the inner ear, so it’s not something that will pop up during your annual checkup. It may be the doctor notices you are struggling to hear, but people with this problem tend to compensate without even knowing it. It is easy for a doctor who sees you only occasionally or maybe for the first time ever to miss.

4. No Else Said You Had Hearing Loss Either

Well, maybe you just didn’t hear them. While most of the time the people in your life will recognize your hearing loss before you do, it is hardly a deciding factor. If they do notice something, they may think they’re being over critical or maybe they’re just mistaken.

In the end, this is still how most people figure out there is a problem, but it may take time for your family to notice enough to say something. In fact, if you are sharing your life with a spouse who is aging right along side you, then he or she has their own hearing struggle going on. It’s understandable if it didn’t come up in conversation. Adult children don’t see their parents as often as they used to, either, so it might be awhile before they recognize the signs in mom or dad.

5. It Seems to Come and Go

It’s very common for hearing loss to affect high-frequency sounds only. What that means to you is that the hearing problem can seem to come and go, so it doesn’t seem real. That’s a common reason many people with hearing loss put the blame on the speaker. You seem to hear everything else just fine, after all. You blame the mumbling as opposed to noticing your hearing loss. At some point, friends and family might point out that you seem to be missing parts of the conversation, but you can continue to deny your hearing loss until that happens.

What can you do to stop denying the problem? The answer is simple. Ask your doctor next time you have a physical if you might have hearing loss or go ahead and make an appointment to double check. A simple in-office test using a tuning fork can shine some light on the problem.

If the answer turns out to be “maybe”, then you at least have factual information to consider. The next step will be a professional hearing test with an audiologist to see the extent of your loss and to find solutions to fix the problem. There is no way to reverse age-related ear damage, but something as simple as hearing aids is a real life-changer for people who have been denying their hearing loss for way too long.

Could Hearing Loss Be Turning You Into A Grouch?

Is Hearing Loss Turning You Into A Grump? | Picture of Grumpy Man

You know you’re a big grump these days but don’t know why? Hearing loss is a problem nearly 50 million people in this country face, according to the Hearing health Foundation, but, for many, it sneaks up on them with age. The problem doesn’t end at your ears, either. Research shows that even mild hearing loss puts you at risk for memory problems and dementia. What your might decide is just a sign of age may actually be a treatable medical problem. It’s time to find out and end that cranky state then you can look for ways to manage age-related hearing loss.

Find out More About Hearing Loss

Finding out a little more about what you’re dealing with is a practical place to start. For many individuals, hearing loss is a natural side effect of getting older. One out of every 3 people over the age of 65 has some variation of hearing loss. It’s not fully understood why this happens, but it may be due to years of the noise. Everything from the music you listened to when you were 16 to driving with the window down in traffic. The world is full of potentially ear-damaging noise that can erode the delicate mechanisms that help you hear.

Chronic diseases that become more common with age are a possible factor, as well. High blood pressure, for example, or diabetes can both interfere with blood flow, which causes damage to the nerves of the inner ear.

Figure out How to Recognize the Signs

People usually take their hearing for granted, so when it starts to fail, they don’t recognize the signs. For instance:

  • The struggle to understand words when there is background noise like a fan or the AC
  • Always asking people to repeat themselves or even worse, saying “what” a lot
  • Always feeling like you are being left out of the conversation

No wonder you’re cranky. It’s the small things that are the most frustrating. For example, it becomes more difficult to understand words with “S” or “F” in them. You might not appreciate that’s what is happening, though, because you don’t hear the words well enough to make the connection.

Develop a Plan to Manage Hearing Loss

First find out if you actually have hearing loss. Start by asking a family member if they notice you struggling to keep up with conversations or if you say “What?” a little too often. If there is any doubt, then a hearing exam will clarify everything for you. The physician will look inside your ears for obvious problems like a build up of wax or visible trauma.

The next step is to get a hearing test from a professional. This not only helps to confirm your hearing loss but it also gauges the extent of it. The audiologist will recommend the next course of action for you based on the results of the test. In most cases, that will involve getting hearing aids. If you are experiencing this kind of age-related hearing loss, you will benefit greatly from these medical devices.

Invest in Quality Hearing Aids

Find a certified hearing aid retailer and take your time finding the right brand and model for your needs. Modern hearing aids do more than just amplify sound. They filter out background noises, connect to phones and computers and even pinpoint the direction of a sound. Different styles and types of hearing aids come with different features, so research them all to find out what you need to improve your life.

Consider the style you want for your hearing aids, too. They come in fashionable colors or with no color at all, so they are practically invisible.

There is no downside to dealing with your hearing loss, but, plenty if you don’t beyond just making that grumpy attitude.

Why Hearing Aids Make You Happier Than Winning the Lottery

Lottery

Assuming that you have hearing loss, what’s more likely to make you happy?

A) Winning the lottery, or

B) Purchasing a new set of hearing aids

It may sound obvious to you that the answer is A, but research on happiness tells a quite different story.

First, many people do tend to THINK that outside situations are most likely to make them happy. They frequently cite things like more money, better jobs, a new car, or winning the lottery.

What numerous studies have found, on the other hand, is surprisingly the opposite. The things that people actually REPORT making them happier are not external or materialistic—they are mostly innate.

The things that make most people happiest are high self-worth, strong social skills, robust relationships, free time, volunteering, and humor, as shown in the Stanford University video We Don’t Know What Makes Us Happy (But We Think We Do).

Winning the Lottery and the Hedonic Treadmill

If you answered that winning the lottery would make you happier, you might be correct, but research is not necessarily on your side.

In one routinely referenced study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers surveyed several Illinois state lottery winners and contrasted them with both non-winners and with accident victims that were left paraplegic or quadriplegic.

The interview questions aimed at estimating happiness levels, and the findings revealed that lottery winners were roughly just as happy as both non-winners and the accident victims.

The study concluded that individuals are likely to have a preset happiness level. Significant events like winning the lottery or enduring a disabling injury cause a transient spike or decrease in happiness—but the individual’s happiness level in both instances will revert to the fixed point.

This is compatible with the “hedonic treadmill” theory, which claims that most people maintain more or less the same levels of happiness throughout life, similar to when you adapt to and increase the speed on the treadmill.

For example, if you land a job with a higher income, you probably will be temporarily happier. But once your happiness level returns to normal, you’ll just want a job with even greater income, ad infinitum.

Buying Happiness with Hearing Aids

If you answered that using hearing aids would make you happier, your answer is most consistent with the research.

As reported by social psychologist Dr. Dan Gilbert, two decades of research on happiness has found that the single most vital determinant of happiness is our relationships. He explains that our brains have evolved so that we can be social, and that “friendless people are not happy.”

Which is great news for hearing aid users.

Because the cornerstone of any healthy relationship is communication, and communication is reliant upon healthy hearing, hearing aids enhance relationships and a sense of confidence in those who use them.

And research tends to give credibility to this view. Several studies have confirmed that hearing aid users are pleased with their hearing aid performance, feel a positive change in their overall mood, and develop enhanced relationships and social skills.

Consequently, wearing hearing aids produces all of the things that have been found to make us happier, while winning the lottery provides more money, which at best will only make us temporarily happier. So the next time you head out to buy lottery tickets, you may want to drop by the local hearing specialist instead.

The Alarming Hearing Loss Statistics You Need to Know About

Far too often, we hear people assert that hearing loss only applies to “old people,” that it’s just part of getting old, or that it’s generally an uncommon condition.

These statements couldn’t be further from the facts.

Here are statistics you need to know about:

Prevalence of hearing loss in the US

Hearing loss, to some extent, affects 20 percent of all Americans, or 48 million people, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. If everyone with hearing loss in the US resided in the same state, its population would be larger than the entire state of California by 10 million individuals.

1 out of every 5 people in the US has some type of hearing loss, even if that hearing loss is unknown and untreated. As a result, the probability that you know someone with hearing loss or have hearing loss yourself is, unfortunately, very high.

Additionally, from 2000 to 2015, the number of Americans with hearing loss has doubled, and globally the number is up by 44 percent. This makes hearing loss the second most common health issue in the world. In fact, those living with hearing loss outnumber those living with Parkinson’s, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes combined.

Hearing loss by age group

Even if 1 out of 5 individuals in the US has some level of hearing loss, we’re still only speaking about older people, correct?

This is a prevalent myth, but the response is an definitive no.

According to the Better Hearing Institute, of the 48 million Americans with hearing loss, only approximately 35 percent are 65 years of age or older. Well over 30 million Americans under the age of 65 suffer from hearing loss. Of those:

  • 1 in 6 baby boomers (ages 41-59) have some type of hearing loss.
  • 1 in 14 Generation Xers (ages 29-40) already have hearing loss.
  • 1.4 million children (18 or younger) have hearing problems.
  • 2-3 out of 1,000 infants are born with a noticeable level of hearing loss in one or both ears.

Although hearing loss is common throughout all age groups, the extent of hearing loss does tend to increase with age. While only about 2 percent of adults aged 45 to 54 have disabling hearing loss, the rate increases to 8.5 percent for adults aged 55 to 64, around 25 percent for adults aged 65 to 74, and about 50 percent for adults aged 75 and older.

The causes of hearing loss

Hearing loss is highly prevalent (both in the US and across the globe), impacts all age groups, and has grown to be more widespread with time. What’s the cause behind this trend?

There are many causes, but the two primary causes of hearing loss are direct exposure to loud sound and the aging process.

Regarding sound exposure, the NIDCD estimates that around 15 percent of Americans (26 million people) between the ages of 20 and 69 suffer from hearing loss as a consequence of exposure to loud sounds at the workplace or during leisure activities.

The World Health Organization has also reported that 1.1 billion teens and young adults across the world are at an increased risk of developing hearing loss from the use of personal audio devices played at higher volumes.

When it comes to aging, the population of individuals aged 65 years and older is expanding, and hearing loss is more prevalent among this group.

Can hearing aids help?

The prime defense against hearing loss is protecting your ears. Staying away from loud noise, increasing your distance between the sources of loud noise, and using personalized ear protection are three techniques that can conserve your hearing.

But what happens if you already suffer from hearing loss?

Fortunately, because of the advances in technology and hearing health care, essentially all cases of hearing loss can be treated. And unlike the hearing aids of 10-15 years ago, today’s hearing aids have proven to be effective.

A current study by the Journal of the American Medical Association discovered that hearing aids (three popular models tested) are in fact generally effective, concluding that “each [hearing aid] circuit provided significant benefit in quiet and noisy listening situations.”

Patients have also acknowledged the benefits: The National Center for Biotechnology Information, after looking at many years of research, concluded that “studies have shown that users are quite satisfied with their hearing aids.”

Similarly, a recent MarkeTrak consumer satisfaction survey found that, for people with hearing aids four years of age or less, 78.6% were satisfied with their hearing aid performance.


The numbers speak for themselves, and your chances of acquiring hearing loss are regretfully quite high. But the numbers also demonstrate that, even if you currently have hearing loss, the chances that you’ll benefit from using hearing aids is very high

Whether you are looking for tailor made ear protection to prevent hearing loss or a new pair of hearing aids to amplify the hearing you’ve already lost, we can help. We have experience with all types of hearing loss and can help find the right solution for you.

5 Good Reasons to Get a Hearing Test

Hearing Test

In the United States, about 37.5 million adults have some degree of hearing loss. Yet according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), only 20 percent of those who could reap the benefits of hearing aids actually use them. That means that millions of Americans who could improve their life with better hearing decide not to do so.

And that’s not all.

After being shown that they will need hearing aids, people wait an average of 5-7 years before even purchasing them—which is too bad, because for those that do decide to wear hearing aids, the outcomes are overwhelmingly favorable.

Several studies have shown that wearing hearing aids enhances relationships, enhances general physical and mental health, and even increases household income, as reported by the Better Hearing Institute.

Regrettably, 80 percent of those who could use hearing aids will never witness these benefits. And of those who do, it’s a shame that they have to wait so long.

The question is: if people are holding out 5-7 years before acquiring a hearing aid, what is finally swaying them to do so? And if we understood the reasons, would it motivate us to deal with our own hearing loss sooner?

With that in mind, we’ve gathered the most common “triggers” that have prompted our patients to finally arrange a hearing test.

Here are the top five:

1. Not being able to hear the grandkids

Here’s one we’ve heard more than a couple of times.

The thing about high-frequency hearing loss is that the sounds most difficult to hear are typically higher-pitched. That makes the female voice and the voices of children especially difficult to understand.

As a result, many people with hearing loss miss out on what their grandchildren are saying, or otherwise have to make them repeat themselves. Before too long, the grandkids start avoiding the grandparents, and this provides a strong motivator to arrange a hearing test.

2. Strained relationships

Communication is the basis of any healthy relationship, which is the reason hearing loss is so frustrating for both individuals.

If you suffer from hearing loss, you may think everybody else mumbles, but your partner probably feels you communicate too loud or “selectively listen.” This produces stress, and before long, you discover yourself in more arguments than normal.

Regrettably, many people wait until their spouse is at a breaking point of frustration before arranging a hearing test. We’ve seen first hand that loads of problems could have been averted if hearing loss were dealt with faster.

3. Feeling left out

How confident and involved can you really be if you can’t understand what others are saying?

Many people with hearing loss lose their confidence and sociability when it’s easier to avoid the scenario than it is to struggle to hear and understand what’s being said. This leads many down a road of seclusion.

It’s this feeling of alienation—and missing out on social activities—that prompt people to pick up the phone and book a hearing exam. And there are not many activities that hearing loss doesn’t influence in a undesirable way.

4. Being unproductive at work

We’ve heard a great number of stories of people that reach their breaking point at the workplace. Oftentimes they’re at an important meeting and can’t hear their colleagues sitting across the table. They either have to disrupt the meeting to get people to speak louder or repeat themselves, or otherwise have to stay silent because they can’t follow along.

There’s a reason why using hearing aids is associated with higher household income in those with hearing loss. If you have better hearing, you’re simply more self-confident and efficient at work.

5. Concern about general health and well-being

And finally, people are becoming gradually more conscious of the health risks associated with hearing loss. While there are many ailments tied to diminished hearing, the most worrying relationship is that between hearing loss and dementia. According to Johns Hopkins University researchers, seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who sustain their hearing.

What’s your reason?

The bottom line is that most people wait far too long to address their hearing loss, despite the fact that the majority of hearing aid users report that their lives have been enhanced with better hearing.

If you wear hearing aids, let us know the reason you decided to arrange your first hearing test. Your response may result in helping someone in a similar situation to attain the rewards of better hearing sooner rather than later.

4 Important Sounds You’re Missing With Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss

Here’s one thing most people are surprised to discover: in most cases of hearing loss, people can hear a number of sounds just fine, and have a hard time only with particular sounds.

In particular, if you have difficulty only with high-pitched sounds, you may suffer from the most common type of hearing loss, known as high-frequency hearing loss.

With high-frequency hearing loss, you can likely hear lower-pitched sounds normally, causing the perception that your hearing is normal. Higher-pitched sounds, however, may not be heard at all.

So which frequencies should you be able to hear with healthy hearing?

To start with, sound can be characterized both by its loudness (measured in decibels) and by its frequency or pitch (calculated in Hertz).

With normal hearing, you’d have the ability to hear sounds within the frequency range of 20 to 20,000 Hertz, but the most important sounds are within the range of 250 to 6,000 Hertz. Within that range, you would be able to hear most frequencies at a relatively low volume of around 0-25 decibels.

With high-frequency hearing loss, you might be able to hear the lower frequencies at relatively low volumes (0-25 decibels), but you wouldn’t be able to hear the higher frequency sounds without raising the volume (by as much as 90 decibels with profound hearing loss).

So which higher-pitched sounds, specifically, would you have trouble hearing with high-frequency hearing loss?

Here are four:

1. Consonants

Speech involves a mix of both low and high frequency sounds.

Vowel sounds, such as the short “o” in the word “hot,” have low frequencies and are generally easy to hear even with hearing loss.

Problems appear with consonants like “s,” “h,” and “f,” which have higher frequencies and are more difficult to hear. Since consonants convey most of the meaning in speech, it’s no wonder that those with high frequency hearing loss have difficulty following conversations or TV show plots.

2. The voices of women and children

For the large number of men who have been accused of ignoring their wives or of having “selective hearing,” they might for once have a viable excuse.

Women and children tend to have higher-pitched voices with less magnitude, or loudness. As a result, those with hearing loss may find it easier to hear the male voice.

Several of our patients do complain about not hearing their grandkids, and this will often be the principal motivator for a hearing test.

3. The chirping of birds

The songs of birds chirping are in the higher frequencies, which means you might stop hearing these sounds completely.

In fact, we’ve had patients specifically note their surprise when they could hear the sounds of birds once again with their new hearing aids.

4. Certain musical instruments

The flute, the violin, and other musical instruments capable of producing high frequency sounds can be difficult to hear for people with hearing loss.

Music as a whole does tend to lose some of its potency in those with hearing loss, as specific instruments and frequencies cannot be distinguished.

How hearing aids can help

Combined with the above, you may have trouble hearing several other sounds, like rustling leaves, rainfall, and the sound of running water.

But it’s not impossible to get these sounds back.

The key to treating high-frequency hearing loss is in amplifying only the distinct frequencies you have difficulties hearing. That’s why it’s crucial to obtain the right hearing aids and to have them programmed by a competent professional.

If you amplify the wrong frequencies, or even worse amplify all frequencies, you’re not going to get the outcome you want.

If you believe you may have high-frequency hearing loss, give us a call today. Our seasoned hearing professionals will thoroughly test your hearing, pinpoint the frequencies you have difficulty with, and program your hearing aids for optimal hearing.

Are you ready to start enjoying your favorite sounds again?

The Health Benefits of Better Hearing

Family at the beach

It’s commonly said that we don’t fully appreciate the things we have until they’re gone, and this seems to be specifically true of our ability to hear. Hearing loss is not only tough to detect; it’s also tough to appreciate just how much hearing enhances our lives.

As one of our main senses, along with vision, hearing effects our mental, social, and physical health, so when we compromise our hearing, we put our overall welfare in jeopardy. But restoring our hearing can have many health benefits that we never really give much thought to.

Here are three ways enhancing your hearing can enrich your social, mental, and physical health.

Hearing and Relationships

The foundation of any good relationship is communication, and with hearing loss, that foundation is destabilized. Miscommunication, hard-feelings, and avoidance can all occur from hearing loss and the barrier to communication it creates.

Hearing loss can be especially disruptive to a marriage, as Julie and Charlie Kraft had to find out the hard way.

For the majority of Charlie’s adult life, he has had a common form of hearing loss known as high-frequency hearing loss, in which he has difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds. And since the female voice is higher-pitched than the male voice, Charlie had a particularly hard time hearing his wife.

But seeing that Charlie wasn’t aware of his hearing loss, he thought his wife Julie simply spoke too softly, which was aggravating for him. At the same time, Julie believed Charlie talked too loudly—not to mention that she constantly had to repeat herself—which was aggravating for her.

In this way, hearing loss yields a frustrating barrier to communication where both people harbor bad feelings towards one another.

In Charlie and Julie’s example, they had the good sense to identify the hearing loss and to take action to deal with it. After Charlie started wearing hearing aids, he no longer had to talk so loud, and he began hearing new sounds, like the sounds of birds on the golf course. But the one perk he reported he cherished the most was the improved communication he had with his wife.

Julie agreed, and both conveyed how much healthier their relationship is without the burden of hearing loss.

Hearing and Physical Health

Does using hearing aids tend to make you more active?

The answer is yes, according to a survey carried out by Hear The World Foundation, which revealed that 21 percent of those surveyed reported that they exercised more after purchasing hearing aids. In addition, 34 percent said they actively take part in sports at least once per week, and 69 percent feel that their hearing aids have a favorable effect on their general health.

Hearing loss can make communication difficult to the point where people are inclined to avoid the social gatherings and activities that they used to enjoy. With hearing aids, you can pursue these activities more confidently, leading to more exercise and enhanced physical health.

Hearing and Mental Health

In a recent study, researchers from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) discovered a strong connection between hearing loss and depression among US adults of all ages.

Other studies by Johns Hopkins University have linked hearing loss to general cognitive decline, including memory issues as well as an increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Evidently, the lack of sound stimulation to the brain with hearing loss causes several negative effects, resulting in an increased risk of depression, social isolation, and mental decline. But the good news is, studies have also shown that using hearing aids can reverse or prevent many of these problems.

How Has Better Hearing Improved YOUR Life?

Statistics are one thing; stories of actual people reaping the benefits of improved hearing are quite another.

If you wear hearing aids, let us know in a comment below how your life, relationships, and/or physical or mental health has improved! You may end up inspiring someone else to take the first steps toward better hearing.

6 Encouraging Things Wearing Hearing Aids Says About You

Family at the beach

It remains a puzzle as to why wearing a pair of glasses—which improve vision impairment—is perceived as a sign of intelligence, while wearing hearing aids—which treat hearing impairment—has been perceived as an indication of old age.

Perhaps it’s about time the stigma of hearing loss is corrected, and we redefine what it means for our bodies to collaborate with technology.

The question is, when you see someone wearing a pair of hearing aids, what do you think?

Here are 6 of the favorable things we think wearing hearing aids says about you.

1. You prefer living an active life

Most social events and activities require healthy hearing, while hanging out by yourself at home does not. Wearing hearing aids is therefore an indicator that you like to be active and social, and that you’re not going to let hearing loss hold you back from pursuing your favorite activities.

2. You’re an open-minded, proactive problem solver

When you’re faced with difficult problems or obstacles, you find ways to conquer them. You don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself or defend a stubborn denial of the issue—you’re open-minded enough to admit to your hearing loss and proactive enough to treat it.

3. You’re tech-savvy

Today’s digital hearing aids are like miniature computers, furnished with exceptional features like wireless connectivity, bluetooth streaming, directional microphones, and background noise reduction.

By wearing a pair of modern hearing aids, it illustrates that you are on the cutting-edge of technology, set to enjoy the rewards that new technology has to offer.

4. You’re health conscious

Several new studies, especially from Jonhs Hopkins University, have attributed hearing loss to serious medical conditions including depression, general cognitive decline, memory problems, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Wearing hearing aids illustrates that you appreciate living an all-around healthy lifestyle, proactively taking the steps required for a long, healthy life—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

5. You treasure your relationships

You understand that the groundwork for any healthy relationship is strong communication, and you’re not going to let hearing loss erect a barrier between you and those you love.

Your relationships are simply too significant to permit hearing loss to create occasions of miscommunication, misunderstanding, and the hassle of others always needing to repeat themselves.

6. You’re self-confident

You’re not attempting to keep hidden the fact that you wear hearing aids—you’re proud of it. You like to live an active, social life and you’re proud that you’ve taken the actions to ensure your own quality of life.

In fact, many hearing aid users have reported improved performance at work, and research by the Better Hearing Institute reveals that hearing aid users reported higher household income than those with untreated hearing loss.

What do hearing aids say about you?

What did we forget? What would you add to the list?

There are countless reasons to wear hearing aids with pride: Tell us in a comment some of the reasons you wear hearing aids so we can keep the list going.

4 Reasons to Upgrade Your Hearing Aids

Hearing Aids

When should I upgrade my hearing aids?

This is a frequent question we hear from our patients, and the answer requires some thought. Although hearing aids typically have a life-span of 3-7 years, there are several cases in which you may want to upgrade earlier.

Here are 4 reasons you may want to consider a hearing aid upgrade.

1. Your hearing aids are no longer functioning well

If your hearing aids are not functioning as well as they once did, the first thing to consider is cleaning or repair.

Hearing aids are exposed to earwax, humidity, and other debris, so your hearing aids may merely require a cleaning. Other times, the electronics within the hearing aids require repair, but otherwise the hearing aids remain effective.

If your hearing aids are compromised beyond repair, on the other hand, or if they are past their normal life-span, you may want to upgrade to a new set.

2. Your hearing requirements are not being met

Let’s say you obtain a new job that will require a lot of talking on the phone, which has consistently been a problem for you with your present hearing aids. You learn about a new brand of hearing aid that can stream phone calls wirelessly from your iPhone straight to your hearing aids, giving you clear sound that you can quickly adjust. In this scenario, you may want to upgrade your hearing aids to provide for your new hearing requirements.

It’s a great idea to create a list of all the instances in which your current hearing aids are not performing to your preference. Then, by consulting with a hearing specialist, you can find the hearing aids that can better satisfy your needs.

3. Your hearing has changed

Hearing can and does change throughout the years, and it’s a possibility that your present hearing aids, while initially sufficient, are now incapable of handling your hearing loss. If this is the situation, you will need a new hearing examination and a new set of hearing aids programmed to accommodate your hearing loss.

4. You want to make the most of new technology

Hearing aid technology is evolving quickly; just ten years ago it would have seemed like science fiction to believe that you could stream music wirelessly from your iPod to your hearing aids. Each year, extraordinary new functionality is added to new hearing aid models, and you may find that you’d like to reap the benefits of the new technology.

For example, perhaps you just purchased a new Apple Watch and you learned that a couple of the new hearing aid models are compatible. If you wish to control your hearing aids with the watch, you would need to upgrade to a compatible model.


The decision to upgrade your hearing aids in the end boils down to answering two questions:

  1. Are my current hearing aids meeting all of my listening requirements?
  2. Is there new technology or functionality that I would like to take advantage of?

Hearing aid technology is advancing rapidly, and most of our patients are surprised to discover what the new hearing aid models are capable of. And the fact is, you can’t really answer the second question without knowing what’s available to you.

If you would like to learn about what some of your options are, give us a call today and we’ll explain to you all the available technology and how it could make your life better and easier. You may be surprised at what you find.