The ringing of bells, the rustling of wrapping paper, the tearing of envelopes containing Christmas cards, children’s laughter, the gathering of family & friends and conversation around the table. These are just a few sounds of the season that many embrace this time of year. However, for others – the hearing impaired – it can be a time of stress because they find it increasingly more difficult to not only hear the aforementioned sounds, but to communicate effectively.
Many mistake a hearing impairment as sounds just not being loud enough. In fact, hearing isn’t only about the “loudness” of sound. The frequency (or pitch) where a hearing loss occurs also plays an integral part in effectively hearing. In many cases, when a hearing loss occurs, it is more difficult to hear certain pitches – especially in the presence of background noise (restaurants, groups or crowds), which can further complicate the ability to carry on a conversation in already difficult listening situations. This is why just making sounds louder isn’t as important as treating the hearing loss selectively per frequency where the loss has occurred.
There are several psychological effects that may accompany a hearing loss. These may include withdrawal, depression, frustration & an overall decrease in quality of life. Being able to effectively communicate with others is important and has an effect on everyone – not just the hearing impaired person – involved.
The majority of people who wear hearing instruments reported significant improvements in the quality of their lives. More than half reported better relationships at home. Many patients reported improved feelings about themselves, as well as improvement in their confidence, independence and improved relationships with their significant other, children & grandchildren. Overall, their view about life improved. Family members also noticed these significant improvements.
The process of determining if a hearing loss exists begins with a comprehensive audiological examination – or hearing test – which establishes if a hearing impairment exists and to what degree and if a patient is a candidate for hearing instruments. Following the audiological examination, an appointment can be scheduled for a hearing instrument evaluation, which includes a review of the test results, discussion of hearing instrument styles and technology and realistic expectations.
At JCMG Hearing & Balance Center, our audiology team provides a full range of hearing healthcare services. We offer a wide selection of technologically advanced hearing instruments and the compassion and expertise to help our patients through the selection, adjustment period and beyond.