It’s difficult to admit you have a hearing problem, and even harder to actually do something about it. According to the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), people wait, on average, seven years to take action on their hearing loss.
There is research showing that hearing loss is linked to a variety of illnesses such as depression, dementia, and overall decline. Many people don’t realize the impact that treatment of hearing loss can have on their quality of life.
Luckily, the BHI has compiled a step-by-step guide of “life hacks” that will help you get started on the road to recovery. In this article, we’ll share the highlights, edited and adapted from the BHI website.
- Make a Plan (and Stick to It) – It may be overwhelming coming to terms with your hearing loss. The first step is admitting you have a problem. It’s important to educate yourself about the different treatment options. You’ll be tempted to give yourself a lengthy interval to consider your options. However, it’s important to set a deadline for yourself and stick with it. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you improve the quality of your life.
- Research – There are numerous online resources that detail the different kinds of hearing loss, support groups, and treatment options. Check out a site like BHI as a resource. The website has tips on how to deal with hearing loss as well as information on the latest hearing aid technology and its wireless capabilities. The technology allows individuals to connect to music, TV, and other forms of media.
- Take a Hearing Test – Take an online hearing test on BHI in the privacy of your home. This will help determine whether you need to seek the advice of a medical professional about your hearing issues. The test will give you a baseline to see if you need a more comprehensive test by a hearing care professional.
- ‘Window Shop’ for Hearing Aids – You can browse information and research hearing aids online exhaustively or you can consult a hearing care professional. Be upfront with them and tell them you’d like to “test drive” a hearing aid before buying. A hearing care professional is knowledgable about different hearing aid models and can offer a recommendation based on your particular hearing difficulty and lifestyle preference. Professionals also help with fitting, fine-tuning, and adjusting a device.
- Visit a Hearing Care Professional – There are several different options when you decide to make an appointment to get your hearing more thoroughly checked. Audiologists are state-licensed and knowledgable about hearing aids and other forms of amplification. They perform more precise hearing exams and testing, recommend treatment plans, and help rule out any underlying medical cause for hearing loss.
Once you take the plunge and decide to treat your hearing problem, you’ll wonder why you waited so long! If the cost of treatment is your main concern, talk with your hearing care provider about CareCredit financing. With CareCredit, you’ll have the option of spreading your payments out over time as opposed to a large upfront payment. It’s win-win for all!