Hi. I’m Dr. Carolyn Pinkerton, an audiologist
on the Education and Audiology team here at Starkey Hearing Technologies.
I’m here to talk about the importance of talking to a loved one about hearing loss.
Odds are you know someone with hearing loss. One in every ten Americans has hearing loss
and that’s more than 34 million people in the United States.
Chances are the loss isn’t just affecting that person; it’s affecting those around them.
Miscommunication and hearing loss can lead to frustration with family members and loved
ones and it can also be potentially dangerous if
important sounds and alarms begin to be missed. Miscommunication can also affect your ability
to fully participate in the world around you. It can lead to embarrassment, social isolation,
negative workplace outcomes and familial stress. A lot of people with hearing loss don’t realize
that they have the loss or they may be in denial,
or they may truly believe that others are mumbling or not speaking clearly.
Now, the first time you have a conversation with a loved one about hearing loss,
chances are they’re not going to immediately respond by seeing a hearing practitioner.
That hearing loss probably occurred slowly over time.
Now less than 10 percent of hearing loss can be corrected medically or surgically
and 95 percent of those hearing losses can be managed effectively
with today’s innovative hearing technology. So the good news is that there is help;
they are not alone and there is help available and we want to emphasize that.
To create that supportive and constructive environment
you may begin your conversation by identifying instances
where your loved one would like to hear better, whether it be on the phone or watching television
or out at a restaurant . Chances are that they have begun to notice
that they have difficulty hearing in some of those situations.
Helping someone identify these situations can be a key step in encouraging them to seek
help. It’s also important to note that a number
of options are out there today for hearing solutions.
Not everybody needs the same strength or style of hearing aid.
Hearing technology has come a long way and it can sometimes be difficult for loved ones
to get past the image that someone has in their mind about what a hearing aid may look
like and the social stigma that may come along
with it. If you or someone you know has concerns about
hearing loss, please contact a hearing healthcare professional.