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#49 Hearing Loss Advice -

The June 2019 Consumer Reports has a fascinating, informative article about hearing loss: SOUND ADVICE ABOUT HEARING LOSS. If you haven’t read this article and have an interest in exploring the advantages of hearing aids, I recommend going to your public library and reading it.

The article begins by stating the reasons people delay getting hearing aids. Then each reason is “hit in the gut” (my words).

Many people haven’t had their hearing tested and don’t even realize their hearing is failing. If you find yourself asking people to repeat and/or if your family is complaining the TV is blaring and uncomfortable for them, it might be time to get a hearing test. We get so much advice on when to get a test for breast cancer (mammogram), colon cancer (colonoscopy), prostate issues (PSA blood test), etc; but what are the guidelines to get a hearing test? Fifty is the suggested age by some audiologists.

Loss of hearing can be so gradual that many aren’t aware it’s even happening. What’s really sad about this is that many hearing losses can be corrected. For example, cleaning the ears of wax can improve hearing in folks who have a wax buildup.

Would you believe some people are embarrassed to wear a hearing aid? They must not be aware of the barely visible aids available these days. If they read the studies that show people who have hearing loss were about 30 percent more likely to experience a fall, 40 percent more likely to be depressed, and 50 percent more likely to develop dementia, they might seriously consider getting a hearing test.

Also, hearing loss can lead to loneliness and frustration (might be a cause of depression). Relationships suffer. Instead of going to a noisy party, some people decide the effort to try and hear just isn’t worth it. So they stay home instead. This leads to gradual isolation from others.

Also, we have all heard of someone who tried hearing aids (usually years ago) and they weren’t happy with them. Comments like these discourage people who could be helped by hearing aids: “They didn’t work” or “Too much feedback noise” or “People could see them,” or “Too expensive.”

Yes the cost can be high, but the article in Consumer Reports addresses that issue, too.

  • One of the pieces of advice is ask for a price break. I never would have thought to do that. But, the worse you can hear is, “no,” right?
  • If a vet, ask for the offers the Department of Veterans Affairs  has.
  • Know what features hearing aids have. Do you need each feature? If not, the cost can be reduced that way.
  • Another great piece of advice is consider warehouse clubs. Costco’s brand ranked highest in features and lowest in price.

          Still questioning whether or not you need aids. Get a hearing test. If necessary, follow the advice of an audiologist and try them. Did you know there is a trial period to see if they work for you? Trial periods are not regulated by the federal government, but thirty days is usually the minimum for a trial. If you live in a state that does not require a trial period, thirty days is the minimum you should ask for. You will know in that time if the aids work for you. Most places offer a full refund if you are unhappy with the aids. Some don’t. Again, ask. Is there a restocking fee?

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Dear Lord,

If I need a hearing test, guide me to the place where you want me to get one. Help me to accept the test results. Help me to get hearing aids if I need them. Thank you. Amen.

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1