Resisting Help

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When a Loved One Resists Help

Why would someone with a hearing loss resist help? Some of the most common reasons for resisting help for hearing loss are “Hearing aids are for old people.” “I don’t have trouble hearing, my family is just mumbling” and “Hearing aids are for people with a great deal of hearing loss. I just have a mild hearing loss, I don’t need hearing aids.” Let’s look at these in a little more detail:

“Hearing aids are for old people.”

Audiologists fit hearing aids to persons of any age, from very young babies to adults. With the onset of Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, we are now able to identify hearing loss earlier than ever before and fit hearing aids on babies as young as a few weeks to a few months old. Hearing loss can occur at any age. The technology available in today’s hearing aids provides such advanced features as the ability to wirelessly connect a Bluetooth device to the hearing aid (for instance, a Bluetooth cell phone or iPod can be heard through the hearing aids by the press of a button – without holding the phone to the ear or wearing a headset with the iPod!). Hearing aid manufacturers realize that today’s hearing aid wearers often have very active lifestyles and have provided very small, discreet looking aids that look great and perform great. “Hearing aids are for old people”…no! “Today’s hearing aids are for people of all ages who want to hear better and live life to the fullest!”

“I don’t have trouble hearing, my family is just mumbling.”

Audiologists hear this one a lot! In reality, there’s a little bit of truth to this! Most of us are moving about in our busy lives and often don’t always use the best communication techniques – especially at home with family members. Turning your head, chewing food or walking away from a person while speaking are things we all do but also things that can make hearing a conversation very difficult. So has a family member all of a sudden started mumbling? Probably not. When we have normal hearing we may miss out on a word here or there in a conversation, but will get the jist of what is being said. When we have a hearing loss we will often miss more than just a word here or there…especially if there’s background noise (like a T.V. on or water running). We can often figure out what was said if only a word or two is missed but with hearing loss often several words, or even whole sentences, are missed or misunderstood. This can cause miscommunication and often hurt feelings among family members. “I don’t have trouble hearing, my family is just mumbling.” Hearing loss will often cause a person to misunderstand what has been said. Today’s hearing aids have the ability to enhance speech amplification not only in quiet settings, but in many of the “not so great communication” settings we all encounter in our daily lives.

“Hearing aids are for people with a great deal of hearing loss. I just have a mild hearing loss, I don’t need hearing aids.”

Even people with a mild degree of hearing loss may find that they are having trouble hearing what they should. Today’s digital hearing aids give audiologists the capability of programming the aids to fit a wide range of hearing losses. You don’t need to have a lot of hearing loss to find that a hearing loss can cause you a lot of frustration. Persons with a mild hearing loss may find that they have difficulty hearing quiet speech, or hearing someone speaking from a distance. If a hearing loss is negatively affecting your life it’s time to schedule an appointment with an audiologist to find out what amplification options could benefit you. “Hearing aids are for people with a great deal of hearing loss. I just have a mild hearing loss, I don’t need hearing aids.” There are many options available to help people with any degree of hearing loss – from mild to profound. An audiologist can review these options to see which would be the best fit for you!

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To find a head and neck specialist for your needs, contact the Head & Neck Institute at 216.444.8500 (or toll-free 1.800.223.2273, ext. 48500)

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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