For almost three decades I have advised every patient to get their hearing checked annually. Many do. Most do not. Some never do. Why should I care?
Let me make this relative to you. Sure, there are people in other walks of life that don’t care about a lot of things. They should, but they don’t. They don’t care about anyone except themselves and are constricted by their own myopic agenda. They exist in local township government, your school board, and even your place of worship. Such a terrific waste. They could make a positive difference and don’t, because they don’t care.
However, I care and we should all care about better hearing.
Hearing is the most important sense we have. We use our hearing during every aspect of our lives for communication, awareness, warning, and environmental change and discovery. Simply stated, our hearing keeps us in touch with our family, friends, people we meet, our surroundings and our world.
Without hearing, or better yet, with impaired or diminished hearing, complications arise in communication. Our receptive and expressive communication is hampered and affects social interaction.
Receptive communication is how we hear and understand others. A person with hearing loss is unable to derive the complete spoken message, missing speech sounds, missing words, and not comprehending a family member, friend, or others. The hearing impaired person misunderstands what is stated or asked and responds to broken language.
A person’s expressive communication comes into play next. Their response to others is completely off target and can be detrimental to relationships.
The family member asks the hearing impaired person, “What STATE do you like?” The hearing impaired person responds by saying, “I like a nice porterhouse or ribeye.” The impaired recipient thought they heard the word STEAK, not STATE.
Hearing loss damages the afflicted person. Because they cannot hear properly, the hearing impaired person becomes withdrawn from activities and social situations. Psychologically, they become introverted and greatly decrease daily relationships. They do not participate because they do not hear.
The people around the hearing impaired person gradually exclude that person from gatherings because they can’t hear, misinterpret what was said, become argumentative, and misunderstanding ensue. Their family and friends shy away due to previous negative experiences.
It is tough on everyone.
However, something can be done. The person with the suspected hearing loss needs to take the first step and get a complete audiological evaluation by a board certified and licensed audiologist. That individual may be able to realize a problem exists and makes a choice to seek answers. Sometimes they need a helping hand. A family member or friend may recognize some of the indicators described here. Then it is your job to do what you can to speak to and help the hearing impaired person to schedule the appointment.
Once the evaluation is completed, the audiologist will review the test results and provide recommendations. If amplification is needed, then begin the process to acquire the devices and create a plan for counseling and aural rehabilitation.
Why should they care? Why should you care? Why should I care?
Really, why should I care? I do care. I am not only a private practice audiologist. I wear hearing aids and know what YOU are missing. Stop your suffering and do something today.