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The thought of speaking to someone about their hearing loss can be intimidating. Here are 5 tips that can help:
1. Choose the Right Location: Choose a quiet location free from background noise (1). Private locations where your loved one feels comfortable are a good choice. Talk in a room where there is enough light for the person with hearing loss to see visual clues.
2. Speak Clearly: Stand or sit 3 - 6 feet away from your loved one with hearing loss (2). Make sure he or she can easily see your face, mouth, and gestures. These visual clues will help them understand what is being said. Speak slowly and clearly, but do not exaggerate your words—doing so may distort how they sound and make them even harder to understand.
3. Show Your Love, Respect and Concern: It is often easier for someone to deny their hearing loss than confront themselves. Common reasons include fear of being judged, seen as “disabled,” appearing “weak” or “inferior”, or wearing a hearing aid (3). It may be helpful to portray how common hearing loss (4) is and why it should not be a cause of embarrassment. Also share how much hearing aids have changed to include completely invisible hearing aids like Lyric.
4. Share How Their Hearing Loss Impacts You: The spouse and family of a person with hearing loss often find themselves becoming the “voice” of the hearing loss sufferer in group situations. In severe cases, family members may find themselves increasingly attending social engagements alone as their loved one withdraws. A person’s hearing loss can even put loved ones in danger because they cannot hear cries for help. Resources like those from the Hearing Loss Association of America (5) can further elaborate on how hearing loss affects more than one individual.
5. Communicate the Urgency of Treating Hearing Loss: Various studies have documented links between untreated hearing loss and depression, Alzheimer’s, or declines in cognitive function (6). Stress why it is so important for them to address hearing loss as soon as possible. Video testimonials like those at http://www.lyrichearing.com/lyric-hearing-aid-stories/quality-of-life can help keep the conversation positive by showing how easily people can address hearing loss, and to squash concerns about how a hearing aid might look.
In cases where your loved one still denies a hearing problem, online hearing tests http://www.hearingloss.org/content/hearing-loss-and-relationships or hearing loss symptom checklists http://www.hearingloss.org/content/hearing-loss-and-relationships can be helpful, objective tools to identify a hearing problem. However, you’ve already shown how much you care for your loved one simply by speaking to them about the problem. The conversation may not be easy, but it is necessary.
Share your love by speaking up. Happy end of Audiology Awareness Month!
(4) http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/3041426/ns/today-today_health/#44087745 and http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/health/research/08aging.html
(6) http://www.healthyhearing.com/content/news/Assistance/Awareness/47813-He... and http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/649896.html
Are you trying to learn more about Lyric hearing aids? Fortunately, we have a number of ways to learn and interact with us, such as our website and Facebook fan page. Below, find a brief introduction to our resources and how to use them.
The Lyric Hearing® website is a great place to learn more about the Lyric hearing device whether you are a current or prospective user. If you are currently considering the Lyric hearing aid and whether it is right for you, select “FAQ” from the “What is Lyric Hearing” option in the menu bar at the top of the page. You’ll find answers to questions like how Lyric can be completely invisible and what an extended wear hearing aid is. You can watch “Real Lyric Stories” from Lyric hearing aid users, or attend a seminar from one of our providers (listed under the “Lyric News & Events” section). You can also download more information about Lyric hearing aids by filling out the online form here: http://www.lyrichearing.com/what-is-lyric-hearing-aid/request-information.
If you’re already wearing the Lyric hearing device, try the MyLyric FAQs under “My Lyric” in the menu bar to learn what to do if your ear itches, or when you should remove your Lyric. While you’re there, register your hearing aids and get a free SoundLync tool!
Looking for the wisdom of the crowd before deciding to try the Lyric? Want to get more from your existing Lyric hearing devices? Check out our Facebook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/lyrichearing. It’s a great place to put a question out to the Lyric community or to our in-house experts, share your story, and hear about the experiences of other hearing aid users. Watch real user testimonials and see other Lyric hearing aid reviews on our “Testimonials” tab. You can also get automatic Lyric product updates and special Lyric fan offers when you “like” our page.
If you are looking for live support, just call our toll-free customer service number at 1-866-964-8450. Our representatives will be happy to answer common questions about Lyric hearing aids and put you in touch with providers in your area!
October is National Audiology Awareness Month and National Protect Your Hearing Month, which makes it an excellent time to bring awareness an issue that affects approximately 36 million Americans. In fact, hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States,* half of all sufferers are under the age of 65** and a recent study*** has even shown that a shocking 1 in 5 teenagers suffers from hearing loss.
Many different factors can contribute to hearing loss aside from aging. Some causes include illness, use of certain medications, ear infection, or inner ear damage from a foreign object (like Q-tips). Prolonged noise exposure to louder volumes or brief exposure to excessive noise can also cause significant damage.
If you have healthy hearing, you can protect yourself from hearing damage. Wear protective devices like ear plugs in noisy situations and turn down the volume of music or the TV. Sounds over 85 decibels are typically "noisy." Normal conversations are ~ 60dB, while hair dryers, blenders and lawnmowers are ~90dB. Average concert, car racing and sporting event volumes stand around 110dB, and fireworks and gun shots are around 140dB****. Wear protection around higher volume levels like these, but aside from protective devices, always avoid putting anything in your ear.
If you think you are already experiencing hearing loss, it could be time to see a doctor. Do you always feel like people are mumbling, frequently find yourself asking people to repeat themselves, perhaps hear vowels clearly but have trouble making out consonants properly, or have difficulty during phone conversations? Have you had trouble understanding people in situations with a lot of background noise, or do you have an easier time understanding male than female voices (high frequency hearing loss)?
If any of the above symptoms apply to you, your next step should be to make an appointment with an audiologist. Or, if these symptoms apply to someone you know, encourage them to do the same. An audiologist is a hearing doctor – he or she can diagnose, evaluate and treat hearing problems. Some of their services include conducting hearing tests and prescribing and fitting hearing aids, like Lyric. They can let you know whether you do have hearing loss and work with you on a solution.
To learn more about Lyric as a hearing solution, request information online at: http://www.lyrichearing.com/what-is-lyric-hearing-aid/request-information. You can also use our website to find your local provider. Lyric providers not only have expertise in fitting Lyric, they also have experience diagnosing hearing problems.
To help raise awareness of hearing health this month, learn more about hearing loss and encourage loved ones to do the same. Visit: http://howsyourhearing.org/awareness.html to see what you can do. Happy National Audiology Awareness Month and National Protect Your Hearing Month!