“For many of the millions of hearing impaired Americans, but especially the 27 million living with untreated hearing loss, the holidays may not be all that happy,” says Audiologist Cindy Beyer.
Dr. Beyer, Senior Vice President of HearUSA, said studies have linked hearing loss to stress, frustration, and social isolation, “which can easily be intensified at holiday gatherings with families and friends, when many of those with hearing impairment may find conversations both difficult and isolating.”
While almost all hearing loss can be successfully treated with hearing aids, only 25% of the 36 million Americans with hearing loss have them, according to the Better Hearing Institute, which notes that most hearing aid users report significant improvement in their interpersonal relationships and social lives.
Hearing loss is often labeled ‘the invisible handicap’ because there are no outward signs of limitations. As a result, we may not be aware that a hearing evaluation and the recommendation of hearing aids may be necessary to avoid the breakdown in communications that inevitably comes with untreated hearing loss.
“Today’s digital hearing aids are smaller, smarter and more comfortable than ever before,” said Dr. Beyer. “I can think of no greater gift during the holiday season than encouraging a loved one or a friend with untreated hearing loss to consider the positive impact they could have on their lives.”
Tips for Addressing Family Members with Hearing Loss
• Speak clearly, distinctly, and not too fast. Never shout.
• If you must repeat something, try not to appear frustrated or annoyed.
• If your comment or question is still not being understood, re-word it. Some words are easier to understand than others.
• In a group situation, try to include that person in the conversation.
• Look directly at the person when speaking and place yourself no more than five feet apart.
• Conversation is greatly enhanced when there is no distracting background noise, for example, from a radio or TV.
• When dining out, choose a quiet restaurant. Noisy conversations or the clatter of dishes and tableware are
barriers to effective understanding.
• Conversation is much easier in a room with carpeting and upholstered furniture than in a room with tiled floors, high ceilings or wooden furniture.
• Your facial expressions, gestures, and overall body language are important aids in communicating; make sure you have the listener’s attention and that the room is well lit.
Meet our Audiologist: Danielle Rosier, Au.D., F-AAA
Audiologists complete, at minimum, an undergraduate and master’s level degree in audiology and a supervised clinical fellowship program prior to obtaining state licensure and national certification.
Originally from Ocala, Dr. Rosier became interested in hearing health after observing an audiologist work with a hearing impaired patient. She was amazed at how the patient’s life transformed and decided she wanted to help people and make positive changes in their lives.
Dr. Rosier graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida in 2008 and stayed in Gainesville to earn her Audiology Doctorate in 2012. She is a recipient of the Thomas B. Abbot Excellence in Audiology Award in 2012. Dr. Rosier is also on the Board of the Hearing Loss Association in the area.
Currently a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and the Florida Academy of Audiology, Dr. Rosier focuses on adult and pediatric diagnostic audiometry, tinnitus evaluation and management, amplification, auditory electrophysiology, and aural rehabilitation counseling.
“Being an audiologist is my passion. Improving the quality of life for my patients and their families by offering one-on-one personalized care is so rewarding. My goal is to empower patients to manage their hearing loss and improve their quality of life by providing patient-centered care that incorporates evidence-based practice, compassion and expertise.”
Brownwood Town Center . The Villages