Quality of Life

 Recently, I spoke with an old school friend of mine I had known since the late 1960’s. As with all of us, their life experiences were a series of ups and downs. The not so good part lasted more than forty years.

Their quality of life suffered because of the negative orbit they were subjected to. Stress, depression, anxiety, loss of self-esteem, weight gain, medications, and more.

One day this person took control of their life with the help of a friend and began to make changes. The change began with a new outlook on life and seeing the positives derived from kids and grandkids. This person made a change in their daily proper nutrition, started a walking program, socializing with friends, purchasing some new clothes, reading, being surrounded by positive people, losing seventy-five pounds, and working with the family physician to begin eliminating medications starting with one dealing with depression.

Everyone who knows this person has marveled at the turnaround and change to bring about a better quality of life.

This person made permanent changes. This is due to their realization of the components which negatively influenced their daily living, deciding only they could make the improvements, and taking the steps required to create a daily list of things to be done to better their life. Close family and friends have been the supportive foundation.

With 2024 upon us, we take stock in our own lives to create a path to better our own lives. We want to eat healthier, eliminate junk, lose weight, tone up, develop better sleep habits, get a complete physical by our physician, adopt a positive attitude, and instill better living habits. For some people, their hearing has been an impediment to their quality of life.

For the hearing-impaired person, that same foundation of family and friends is critical. Having untreated poor hearing negatively impacts socialization with others, participating in activities, and causes anxiety, depression, anger, and miscommunication. For the past fifteen years a team of researchers have found a person with even a mild untreated hearing loss starts traveling the road of dementia.

Hearing is the most important of our five senses. The initial step is to schedule a complete audiological evaluation with a private practice audiologist. If you haven’t had your hearing checked since grade school, then you are way overdue.

The audiologist is a doctor who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of hearing and balance disorders. When the appointment is made, ideally a family member or friend should accompany you as support and may provide additional information.

Your visit will include a detailed case history. The audiologist will ask many questions with respect to your ears and hearing. You will provide additional information as to your concerns and how your hearing impacts your receptive communication and overall joy in daily life. The evaluation will consist of pure tone & speech audiometry, tone decay, tympanometry, acoustic stapedial reflexes, distortion product otoacoustic emissions, and possibly tinnitus evaluation, if needed.

The audiologist will review the findings of each test, issue recommendations, and encourage questions.

If digital amplification (hearing aids) is recommended, make it a priority to get them. This recommendation is made specifically for your quality of life with respect to psychological, social, and numerous health factors.

Most insurance does not provide a benefit for hearing aids and it will be an out-of-pocket expense. If you still file taxes on an annual basis, your accountant will be able to determine the extent of any tax benefit on line 1 of Schedule A.

The purchase of amplification includes a three-year repair, loss, and damage warranty, manufacturer’s accessories, all office visits, counseling, aural rehabilitation, service, and adjustments.

Your life may not be as complicated as my friend or someone else you may know. However, your personal quality of life should be important to you.

All my best to you and your family for 2024!