It is no secret that many people delay addressing their hearing loss. In fact, studies have found that even patients who are diagnosed with a hearing loss will delay purchasing hearing aids for several years. Why?
There is much debate in the hearing health industry regarding whether this delay is due to a lack of funds to cover the cost of hearing aids, or if it is due to problems with our hearing care marketing messages, or a lack of awareness regarding the importance of treating hearing loss early.
You can help. Raise awareness of the importance of good hearing and timely hearing treatment by communicating with your patients about these 5 reasons to address hearing loss now. You can share these 5 benefits of hearing treatment via your website, blog, newsletters, social media, flyers, and other communication channels.
- Hear more to keep your mind sharp. Protect your cognitive function, and ensure your mind stays sharp for many years to come by treating even mild hearing loss as soon as it is diagnosed. Recent ground-breaking studies reveal a significant link between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline or dementia. Using hearing aids helps amplify sounds you have lost, stimulating your brain and keeping it active.
- Treat your hearing loss to lift your mood. There are quality-of-life and emotional benefits to treating even a mild hearing loss brought on by years of exposure to loud music, power tools, high-volume headphones, motor-sport engines, and noisy night clubs. According to the National Academy on an Aging Society, hearing loss can lead to more depression, social isolation, and dissatisfaction with life. By treating your hearing loss, you can again hear the uplifting sounds you may have lost over time, such as children’s laughter, birds singing, and ocean waves, and more. The advanced technology in many new hearing aids provides more clarity of these sounds.
- Increase your safety and awareness via hearing from all directions. Advanced directional microphone technology available with many new hearing aids lets you hear from the back and side—something really important when driving a car or carrying on conversations inside a car. Directional hearing increases your safety on the road and also in other settings, making it easier to hear voices more clearly in restaurants, at parties, or those times when your head is in the fridge and someone is talking at your back.
- Stop pretending you hear what people say. The powerful hearing aids of today capture the natural richness and variation of speech, so it’s easier to follow the conversation wherever you are, even at work. One of the most frustrating aspects of not hearing as well as you once did is not catching everything people are saying. New technologies help you decipher more speech details, even in the presence of music and noise. The newest devices help clarify the more subtle sounds of language—like the consonants B, S, F, T, and Z—so you can follow what someone is saying.
- Super-charge your social life. Re-engage with others and return to the things you used to enjoy before your hearing loss got in the way. Did you stop engaging in activities because you could no longer hear in certain environments? Some new state-of-the-art hearing aids cut out background noise so you can hear what you want to hear, even when the setting is noisy. These hearing aids are designed to reduce unwanted noise, and also to scan the listening environment and automatically adapt to it—even in wind. There are hearing aids that can actually “geo-tag” a location. For example, if it’s convenient for you to use the Wi-Fi at a certain coffee shop, don’t worry about the noise—your hearing aids will know when you’re there and adjust themselves accordingly. Recordings of virtually every listening situation have been used to create algorithms and “train” these new mini-computers for your ears.
Try taking a high-tech approach in your outreach efforts.
Do some patients need more enticement? Grab the attention of your gadget-minded patients with news about the advanced, high-tech features available in many of today’s hearing devices. In this digital age of smartphones and wearable technologies, the draw for many solution-minded consumers may be in the “futuristic” technology itself.
Consider using technology-focused messages in your marketing communications, like these:
“Supersonic” hearing has arrived. Super-power, super-smart, super-sleek, super-convenient, and super-sophisticated — today’s hearing aids from many manufacturers, including Oticon, Phonak, GN ReSound, Starkey, Sivantos, Widex, and others, give you a multitude of reasons to address that hearing loss you’ve been trying so hard to ignore. High-powered hearing aids may get you to finally do something about your hearing loss and make your life easier. The newest hearing aids on the market are much smaller than even conventional Bluetooth earpieces. Many of them are so tiny, they sit discreetly and comfortably inside your ear canal, out of sight. You might say that aesthetically, hearing aids have had a complete makeover.
Stay connected with digital Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth capabilities. Digital, wireless hearing aids are the now the norm. That means many new technologies let you stream sound directly into your hearing aids—at the perfect volume—from your smartphone, laptop, conference-room speakerphone, home entertainment system, and other Bluetooth devices. Music, phone calls, podcasts, videos, whatever you listen to through your iPhone (or iPad and iPod), you can listen to through many modern hearing aids. Some even let you control the volume and other personalized sound settings with an app on your smartphone. Several types of wireless accessories give you a listening boost by bridging the gap between you and another person speaking, making it easier to hear in loud places. Using a wireless mini-microphone—with cool, contoured designs, some even looking like a pen—placed on the restaurant or conference-room table, or near anyone you want to hear, makes it feel like they’re speaking directly into your ears.
Improved “cool factor,” comfort & convenience means you’ll want to use your hearing aids. Super-small, super-light, customized, functional, and ergonomically designed, hearing aids today are more comfortable—yet tough enough to withstand an active lifestyle. With the newest hearing aids, there’s virtually no feedback or whistling thanks to advances in digital technologies. Most are also hypoallergenic with nanotechnology coating to keep them clean and dry. Some are even fully waterproof, so you can swim and shower with them in. Plus, today’s advanced audio-processing goes hand-in-hand with less battery usage. Some new hearing aids are even rechargeable, eliminating the need to change batteries altogether. For additional convenience, some brands let you set up reminders for things like appointments or taking medicine. Perhaps the coolest life hack, though, is leading-edge technology that helps soothe the ringing in your ears (tinnitus) in a way that suits you—with settings for white noise, and more.
And more advances are on the horizon. While you are working to bring the latest hearing technologies to your patients, hearing aid manufacturers are deep in the trenches working to create future breakthrough technologies that will make it as easy as possible for the brain to decode speech and other sounds…giving patients even more reasons to address their hearing loss as soon as possible.