As an Ear, Nose and Throat Physician, Dr. Armstrong is often asked to speak to someone about a hearing loss. Often a spouse, son or daughter will complain that the person doesn’t hear clearly, constantly asks for things to be repeated, or turns up the volume on the TV or radio. It’s not uncommon for people with hearing loss to become socially isolated and depressed. Some have even been mistaken to have dementia!
When addressing hearing loss with a loved one, be prepared for some reluctance to admit the problem. Many patients associate hearing loss with aging, or have misperceptions about hearing aids. Set aside some time for a private conversation. In a loving manner, express your concern that hearing problems are keeping you from enjoying each other as fully as you would like. Speak of the enjoyment you receive from conversations and shared experiences. Know that help is available.
Hearing loss is a medical condition that is best evaluated by a physician trained in Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery (Ear, Nose & Throat Disorders). Of those patients who cannot be helped by medical or surgical treatment, 95% can be rehabilitated with a properly fitted hearing aid.
Encourage your loved one to allow you to schedule an appointment for a medical and audiological exam, and plan to come to that appointment yourself for support. The most common objection we hear to the use of hearing aids is the perceived stigma associated with big bulky hearing aids. With current nanotechnology most patients can be fitted with small, discreet hearing aids.
Hearing aids have become so “invisible” that Dr. Armstrong only recently noticed for the first time that one of the five men in his Bible study group wears a one. Great advances in digital technology provide for automatic volume control, noise suppression, feedback elimination and unsurpassed sound quality. All of our hearing aids are computer programmed for each patient’s hearing needs.