Hearing Loss and the Holidays with Heritage Audiology

Hearing Loss and the Holidays with Heritage Audiology

The holidays are here! Which means there are a lot of family and work gatherings with a lot of people and a lot of noise! My Father is an air force vet and flew in a bomber during the gulf war. He suffered a spontaneous cabin decompression and has since had difficulties with his hearing. He lives down the road from me and helps with my kids daily. My father-in-law also has hearing loss, but we’re not entirely sure what it’s from. He wears hearing aids that screech, squeal and crackle and fumbles with his fat fingers to replace the tiny batteries that seem to drain endlessly.

This week I had the priviledge of visiting a new audiology office in Wake Forest called Heritage Audiology. Both of my Dads were evaluated this week and treated by Audiologist Susan Bergquist, CCC-A. Susan holds a certification in audiology issued by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association and was able to easily test and diagnose hearing loss in both of my Dads. 

Susan explains:

 “Hearing is one of the ways we connect with family and friends. Whether you’re holding a family gathering at your house or attending a get-together with friends, the holidays are a great time to reconnect and spend time with people you care about. But when you suffer from hearing loss, the holidays can turn into a period of stress and isolation. 

Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting Americans. Unfortunately most adults wait an average of 7 years before seeking help for their hearing loss, although there are compelling reasons why you shouldn’t. Besides communication challenges, untreated hearing loss has emotional effects that can rob you of life’s happiest moments. 

The psychological effects of untreated hearing loss for both children and adults can include increased anger, low self-confidence, frustration, embarrassment and depression.  Adults may experience times of sadness and grieving as their ability to hear diminishes. They also may feel more fatigued, as the struggle to hear and understand can be physically exhausting.

When left untreated, hearing loss can impact communication, social interaction, income and family relationships.

Signs of hearing loss include: frequent need for repetition, hearing sound but not understanding speech, feeling as though people are mumbling, ringing and buzzing in your ears.

Hearing loss is a well-understood medical condition for which solutions have existed for years. Treating your hearing loss begins with a comprehensive test to determine how severe the loss is and what type. Unless you have the type of hearing loss that can be treated medically, hearing aids are often the best solution.  Thankfully hearing aid technology continues to improve all the time.  Today’s hearing aids are small, digital devices that recognize noise versus speech, stream sounds from your cellphone and TV and have rechargeable batteries.  They are programmed for your hearing loss and can be re-programmed if your hearing changes.

Fortunately, most of the emotional effects of hearing loss begin to quickly resolve once the hearing impairment is treated effectively. Children whose hearing impairment is detected and treated early can develop speech and language skills at the same level as their normal hearing peers, which positively affects self-esteem, social interaction with peers and academic success. Adults can quickly improve communication with family they’ve missed connecting with, begin interacting with colleagues again and go back to hobbies that became to difficult due to hearing issues. 

The sooner you address the reality of hearing loss and take action, the better you’ll be able to minimize these emotional effects and get back to a high quality of life.”

Both of my Dads are on their way to better hearing- just in time for the holidays- and just in time to save my voice and sanity! 😉 Make sure you and your loved ones don’t miss anything this holiday season! Make an appointment with Heritage Audiology today to have your hearing tested and make a treatment plan!

Author: Jaclyn Qualter, Founder, Nurse Practitioner and Healthcare Mentor

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