Wednesday , October 21 2020

Help the ones you love come to terms with their hearing loss.

hearing lossAcknowledging hearing loss usually begins with complex reactions, but the first and most common one is denial. Although there are many reasons why people go into denial about hearing loss, the bottom line is: Taking that first step to get a hearing test may confirm their worst fear – that they do, indeed, have a hearing loss.
There are factors that make denial a logical mind set for many people. For example, hearing loss often progresses slowly. People don’t realize what they are missing in conversations and how many everyday sounds from the world around them they no longer hear – they subconsciously adapt to this subtle progression. It is a known fact that it takes about 7 years for someone to acknowledge hearing loss. They may even hear well in some situations – good acoustics, quiet atmosphere without background noise, one-on-one conversations with a familiar person who articulates clearly. This results in the rationalization that their hearing is fine. Denial can even be a tricky thing when that person uses it as a defense mechanism, causing them to point their finger outward: everyone else has the problem – the world “mumbles!” But most of the time the denial goes back to our society’s historical “taboo” of aging.
How can we help our loved one move beyond denial? The best advice is – don’t push too hard. They will resist even more. After all, if someone is in denial then he/she truly believes nothing is wrong! So, if the idea of possible hearing loss and therefore having to get a hearing test is going down like the Hindenburg, take baby steps.
First, find out where they are having the most trouble hearing and work on situations one at a time. Show them what they are missing as opposed to mocking or making fun of what you have observed. If the volume of a TV becomes too loud, look into assistive listening devices that can be used with TVs. Find a phone or handset with stronger volume control if they are missing phone calls. Or, if they can’t hear the door bell, alarm clock or smoke alarm, look into visual/vibrating alerting systems. Use safety as the motivator to get them to consider taking that hearing test. These are the first steps to get people to be aware of their hearing loss and of what they can do about it.
As the person who is trying to get a loved one to take a hearing test, it is important for you to know the other reasons for making that happen. Long term unchecked hearing loss can cause auditory deprivation (a condition that results in the brain “forgetting” how to hear and understand speech). 95% of people with hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids. Nine out of ten hearing aid users report improvements in quality of life.
At HearUSA, our trained professionals can provide the proper testing to determine hearing loss. Stop by our center and celebrate May Is Better Hearing Month.
Here are some other helpful hints to help you deal with denial:
• Sit down and talk openly and honestly about how their hearing loss affects you and your relationship with them. Assure them that they are loved and how you miss being able to enjoy things together. Make the hearing loss “our” problem not just “their” problem.
• Get them used to the idea of scheduling a regular hearing test as part of good routine health care, just like getting mammograms, checking blood pressure, testing vision, and having a colonoscopy. Set an example by getting your own hearing tested.
• Watch for health fairs that offer free screenings. Go to them together and take advantage of all the information as well as the free screenings that they may offer.
•  Help by setting up appointments with a hearing care professional.
• Stay positive – the issue could be as simple as a build-up of wax in the ear!
• Offer to drive or find someone else to drive them to their appointments.
• Check to see if their medical insurance covers hearing evaluations and hearing aids. If there is no coverage, offer to help with the cost if that is feasible for you. Check out what financial help is available at www.hearingloss.org.
• Most importantly, educate yourself about hearing loss: the different types, the causes, the psycho-social impact, and what to do if you have hearing loss. With this information under your belt, you will be ready when they are and can answer questions and steer them in the right direction.
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.”

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