Hearing loss affects not only the person who experiences it, but all those around the person. The most important thing to do is to see the doctor first. The hearing loss should be examined by a doctor to see if it's medically related. The next step is testing. If it's not medically related, then getting tested by a trained professional sets the foundation for the care and assistance to come.
Getting tested can be a difficult step to take. There are many feelings associated with the loss of hearing. However, once hearing is tested, it's time to move on to solutions. Once the reasons are uncovered, there's hearing "gain" with support and assistance from things like hearing aids.
I think my spouse has hearing loss. What do I do?
Nothing makes a hearing healthcare provider happier than when a significant other comes to the appointment with the patient. The reason? Because not only are you affected by your spouse’s hearing loss, but you are often the reason that the patient is sitting in our office in the first place.
If you suspect your spouse has hearing loss, the most important thing you can do is ask them to have their hearing checked. From the stories we hear every day from our patients, we know that most of the time this is an uphill battle. People are resistant to the idea of needing hearing devices. They feel that it is a sign of aging, or it will alter their appearance. As hearing healthcare professionals, we work every day to combat the negative feelings associated with treating hearing loss.
There are two reasons why people with hearing loss should not feel negatively about getting treatment.
1. The things that patients are missing out on from having hearing loss far outweigh any negative consequences they may be imagining. You know this more than anyone. As their spouse, you deal with constantly being asked to repeat yourself, or having to ask them to turn the TV down all the time. Also, the quality of your communication starts to deteriorate until communication stops being the important part of your relationship that it should be.
2. There are hearing loss solutions available today that most people aren’t aware of. If vanity is an issue, EarQ has hearing aids that reside so far in the ear canal that they are impossible to see. If your spouse is worried about the upkeep of having a hearing aid, we offer instruments that are self-learning. It will automatically adjust to each sound environment you step into. At the very least, it’s worth some research. Check out our product page to learn more about the solutions we have available today.
When you’re speaking to your spouse about his or her hearing loss, bring up the reasons above. Let them know that you’re not asking them to have their hearing checked out of annoyance, but because you are concerned and you care. Show them the options that are available and how they can be an effortless solution to this serious issue.
Hearing aid options for children with hearing loss
Hearing loss can be especially difficult for children, since so much of learning is derived from listening. Speech and language skills may suffer and slow development. If you suspect that your child may be suffering from hearing loss, it is extremely important that you have the child's hearing checked and explore any options for treatment.
At EarQ, we can provide your child with the most technologically advanced solutions in the industry. All of our pediatric hearing devices are available in fun colors and child-friendly patterns so that your child will be just as excited about wearing them as you are about a solution. Visit our product page for more information on pediatric hearing devices.
Visit these websites for more information on children with hearing loss:
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
My child has hearing aids but won't leave them in
It can be hard to pinpoint why a child isn’t keeping their hearing aids in. The most important thing you can do is communicate with him or her about whether their aids are uncomfortable, or just that they want to play with it.
If you can ascertain that discomfort is the reason, you may need to check a few things.
First, ear infections are fairly common in children and a simple ear infection can create pain around the ear molds. If you think an ear infection may be the culprit, take your child to their pediatrician.
Second, watch for what your child is doing when they take out their hearing aids. For example, he’s always watching TV when he takes them out. It could be that the sound of the TV is too loud for him and the loudness is uncomfortable. In this case, you may need to visit your EarQ provider for some programming adjustments.
Third, if the ear mold is new there may be issues with the fit. If your child describes a sore spot or that it’s rubbing his ear wrong, the fit will need to be adjusted by an EarQ provider. Also concerning fit, a child may outgrow their hearing instruments just like they outgrow a pair of shoes. Regular appointments with the provider are necessary to check that the fit is still accurate.
Fourth, make sure that there isn’t impacted wax or a foreign object in the ear canal. Obviously, this will create a lot of discomfort. Call a physician if there is something in the ear canal that you can’t retrieve.
If there are still unidentified issues with your child taking his or her hearing instrument out, your EarQ provider can work with you on solving any issues and give you pointers on methods to get your child used to having the hearing device in all the time.
What to Look For
If an individual thinks that he/she may have hearing loss or know someone who does, look for these things:
• not engaged in certain activities
• not turning toward sound
• trouble hearing in groups
• thinking that things sound muffled
• not able to hear people talking behind them
• turning up the volume on the TV or car radio
• having difficulty hearing on the phone
• having trouble hearing the alarm clock
• having difficulty hearing at the movie theater
How to Talk to Family Members with Hearing Loss
Communication happens with or without hearing aids. Here are some tips for people with and without hearing loss that may be helpful:
• make sure to have someone's attention
• face people directly
• avoid noisy places or backgrounds
• don't shout to get the point across
• speak clearly—and not too fast
• don't talk with a mouth full of food or gum
• rephrase something to make sure the point is made
• be patient and relaxed if someone is slow to respond
Encourage Diagnosis and Treatment
It's important to remember that hearing loss may be limiting at times, but support and assistance can help. Many people experience hearing loss. Don't enable them to be less than themselves. There are trained professionals who can assist them and address the losses and gains.
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