The changes may be gradual at first. You
may have difficulty following a conversation when there's noise, such
as traffic, in the background. You ask others to repeat themselves
frequently. Or perhaps you keep turning up the volume on your radio or
television. These are the classic signs of hearing loss.
say that outdated stereotypes associated with hearing loss may explain
why many hard-of-hearing people wait an average of 7 years before
Concerns about looking old, fear
of appearing less functional and lack of knowledge about the latest in
hearing solutions are among the top concerns of persons with hearing
loss. It's interesting that many people now openly discuss and seek
help for diseases and disabilities that were once "unmentionable," but
not hearing loss. The challenge is to change outdated and hurtful
misconceptions of what it means to have a hearing loss.
advances in technology have made it possible for those with hearing
loss to overcome many of these concerns. Changes that have improved the
sound quality, comfort and appearance of hearing aids have eliminated
many of the challenges hard-of-hearing people used to face when seeking
Voice-activated hearing are one option.
With the aid of a tiny computer chip - virtually a "computer in the
ear" - these new device zero in on speech and processes it for maximum
clarity. When no speech is present, the hearing aid automatically turns
down the volume so users avoid the fatigue that can result from
constant background noise.
Hearing aids, as
described above, also enable hearing care professionals to involve the
hard of hearing person more closely in the fitting process, taking
their individual needs and preferences into account.
are many good reasons to seek help for hearing loss. Studies have shown
that those who wear hearing aids are more likely than non-users to be
involved in community and social activities and have healthier family
relations, better mental health and greater levels of confidence.
To learn more about hearing loss, and options for treatment, contact your doctor or visit the Canadian Hearing Society at http://www.chs.ca or call 416-928-2500 (Voice), 416-964-0023 (TTY).