Some may kick the can down the road on a lot of important ventures such as cleaning out a closet, organizing the garage, ridding the basement of excess stuff, completing paperwork, or addressing neglected chores. During my professional career, I have witnessed countless individuals delay the journey in confronting hearing issues.
Initially, the first step is for the person to realize they have a problem in hearing and understanding speech. Some cannot admit to themselves there is an issue. However, spouses, loved ones, and friends may point out this issue and encourage the person to at least get their hearing checked. Over the years I have had spouses speak with me about the hearing issues their husband or wife may have. My response is to schedule an appointment for a complete audiological evaluation. That is as far is it goes. The afflicted individual refuses to acknowledge the presence of a hearing problem and certainly will not get their hearing checked. Instead, they blame others for mumbling, not speaking clearly, and a variety of other circumstances that is not their fault.
If the person with diminished hearing does schedule an appointment, I discuss and document their concerns along with those of the accompanying family member. Following an evaluation with results indicating digital amplification is required, there have been patients whom deny they have any issue with hearing and understanding. I remind them of the list of detailed concerns noted in the case history with specific settings where understanding speech is disrupted. Those issues are corroborated with the findings of the evaluation and still, the patient denies they have a hearing problem or needs hearing aids.
Other cases have encompassed persons who schedule an appointment, provide a case history, complete the evaluation, have digital amplification recommended, are accepting of the fact they need to do something, and then state, “I need to think about it.” Really what is there to think about? They have been accepting of the problem and process thus far, however they delay the most important step in attaining better hearing which is acquiring the amplification. In an analogy, imagine Secretariat leading the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths and stopping three feet before the end to debate whether to cross the finish line to win the race. This happens on many occasions.
There are others who will complete the process, acquire the amplification, and return them before the thirty-day evaluation period has ended. I ask, why? To the objection of the spouse, the patient will state that they don’t think their hearing is bad enough to keep wearing hearing aids. Often times it is stated that they will wait until they are deaf to do something. At that juncture, they are beyond any assistance from a professional.
The best scenario is for the person to complete the process, obtain and wear the devices on a regular basis, seek follow up adjustments as needed, and have an annual evaluation. This motivated individual is the best patient because they are accepting of their health issue and have taken the important steps towards grasping a better quality of life.
Yes, to delay is to deny. Don’t deny yourself the chance to achieve better hearing through a private practice audiologist. Do something today!