Why do peo­ple de­lay get­ting hear­ing aids?

The Victoria Standard - - Crossword -

Did you know the av­er­age per­son waits seven years be­fore seek­ing help for their hear­ing loss? Re­search shows that cost is not a top fac­tor, so why don’t peo­ple act more quickly? Here are some of the top rea­sons ac­cord­ing to Sergei Kochkin, PH.D., of the Bet­ter Hear­ing In­sti­tute.*

1. At­tempts to cope pri­vately: Hear­ing loss usu­ally de­vel­ops grad­u­ally and peo­ple learn to cope with it. They turn up the TV vol­ume or look at peo­ple to use their eyes to help hear bet­ter. They of­ten don’t know they are strug­gling to hear un­til some­one else points it out to them. Sadly, peo­ple who have hear­ing loss can ex­pe­ri­ence iso­la­tion, anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion or feel­ings of in­se­cu­rity. These peo­ple tend to avoid social sit­u­a­tions.

2. Stigma and Van­ity: Some peo­ple equate hear­ing loss with ag­ing. Oth­ers worry that they will ap­pear less com­pe­tent or less at­trac­tive. Many are un­aware of the wide va­ri­ety of cos­metic choices and styles of aids avail­able to them to­day.

3. Un­aware of to­day’s tech­nol­ogy. Hear­ing aid tech­nol­ogy has come a long way over the past few decades, yet many do not re­al­ize the ad­vance­ments. Kochkin points to re­search that shows “76% of hear­ing aid users re­port sat­is­fac­tion (de­fined as sat­is­fied or very sat­is­fied) with the abil­ity of mod­ern hear­ing aid to im­prove their hear­ing.”

At High­land Hear­ing Clinic, we find that our pa­tients be­come more so­cially ac­tive and in­volved in their com­mu­nity when they start hear­ing bet­ter. They grow more con­fi­dent com­mu­ni­cat­ing in groups and places with back­ground noise. Ad­di­tion­ally, Kochkin lists greater earn­ing power, re­duced anger, frus­tra­tion, de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety and in­creased self-es­teem as just some of the other ad­van­tages of us­ing a hear­ing aid. One could ar­gue that hear­ing aids make them feel younger, not older.

*For the full ar­ti­cle, visit http://www.bet­ter­hear­ing.org/hear­ing­pe­dia/coun­sel­ing-ar­ti­cles-tips/why-peo­ple-de­lay-solution

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