During my thirty-eight years of private practice, the common denominator for patient success with amplification is motivation. When a patient is motivated to acquire better hearing, their quality of life will always improve.

 However, those who aren’t motivated are doomed to self-inflict personal issues naturing in psychological, sociological, and personal happiness. Most appear to procrastinate in making the move into better hearing by way of new hearing aids.

 Procrastination is defined as the act of unnecessarily and voluntarily delaying or postponing something despite knowing that there will be negative consequences for doing so. Psychologists have identified the drivers of procrastination to include low self-confidence, anxiety, lack of structure, the inability to motivate oneself to complete the unpleasant task, or fixated on negative thoughts.

 Procrastination may be a detriment when it comes to your own healthcare. I knew one person who had been evaluated by a gastroenterologist and found to have intestinal issues requiring periodic monitoring following an initial procedure. They decided not to do anything and often stated they ‘didn’t want to hear any bad news.’ They became incapacitated in a nursing home. Another person I knew had fallen from a second floor balcony and refused any medical treatment. The next day, this person was rushed to the hospital because the situation became dire. Both of these people died from procrastinating due to ignoring and delaying the required healthcare.

 It has been determined that three things need to occur to hurdle the procrastination blockade. First, the person needs to utilize a calendar to establish, in writing, tasks to be completed by a certain date. Second, the steps must be realistic and achievable. Finally, any and all excuses must be eliminated.

 I am going to help you break free of procrastination regarding your hearing in a few easy steps.

 Initially, the person needs to have awareness and acceptance of issues related to their hearing. You need to realize that your hearing has changed and others have noticed that you are having difficulty with receptive speech. The affected person has difficulty understand speech at a distance or in the presence of background noise, asking for others to repeat, mistaking some words for others, giving inappropriate responses to questions and comments, and requiring the television volume placed at a higher than normal level.

Next, a private practice audiologist must be contacted for a complete audiological evaluation. This written appointment must be placed on your calendar and kept! After completing the patient information form and providing copies of insurance cards, the audiologist will take a case history of your concerns, work & medical histories pertaining to hearing, and ask several questions. Once the evaluation is complete, they will review the test results and issue professional recommendations based upon the tests and your case history.

If these recommendations include the requirement for new hearing aids, get them. The audiologist will show and explain the various styles & technology levels available and select the most appropriate for you. Styles included completely-in-the-canal, in-the-canal, half shell, full shell, behind-the-ear,and receiver-in-the-canal. Technology is entry level, mid-level, and premium level. The last two styles listed are available in a variety of colors and rechargeable option, if preferred.

Once the options for amplification are reviewed, decide upon the style and technology level for your order. Then a deposit is placed to order hearing aids since almost all insurance carriers do not pay for amplification. Turnaround time is about two weeks. No interest financing is available through a third party company, if desired.

The audiologist will contact you to schedule a fitting appointment which you will enter on your calendar. This session will take about one hour to be properly fitted, adjusted, and to receive appropriate counselling and aural rehabilitation which is critical for your success. Follow up sessions are included for further consultation, adjustments, review positives and negatives, and fine tune your listening strategies and expectations.

Your primary objective is to break free of procrastination regarding your hearing problems and create a better life. To do nothing is to prolong the negativity, misery, and agony because you are unable to hear properly. Help is available to anyone.

Once the procrastinator takes that first step towards finding the answers they need, everything will fall into line, only if they at least try.