by JD Hancock
It’s funny when Uncle Ned says something off-topic, and most just say he is getting senile. Otherwise, he can be counted on to simply nod or smile. Grandma only hears when she wants to. Any conversation involving Aunt Clara is dominated by her. Every family has these stories. Such situations can try anyone’s patience, but senility may not even be the primary cause. These situations, according to audiologists, are caused by the hearing problems of the three elderly. Audiologists are professionals who diagnose and treat hearing problems, and many of their clients are senior citizens.
Even more bothersome for those with hearing problems are crowds, background noises, and poor acoustics. They experience even worse when they are sick, tired, or cannot see the speaker. Though they quiet conversation may be comprehensible for them, they may not be able to distinguish single sounds. Sound may be perceived but not understood.
The audiologist can distinguish those who can benefit from hearing aids, for whom they begin a hearing aid evaluation. Different brands and models are brought to the client to try on. Experts used to say that nothing could be done for those with nerve damage, which is the usual case for the elderly. Improvements in hearing aid technology have reached even nerve damage cases.
In spite of countless testimonies of the effectiveness of hearing aids, many seniors still believe they don’t work. Though they know that hearing aids can really help, many seniors prioritize avoiding feeling ashamed of wearing the device.
Hearing aids can also be expensive. Aids cost $ 300 or more and are not covered by Medicare or health insurance plans. However, clients can use the aids while paying just $ 15 a month through a private national lease purchase plan. Audiologists also help clients in the adjustment period after getting a hearing aid through counseling.
Hearing aids are no miracle cure for hearing loss, and clients should be warned of this. Counseling and information sessions are two of the services offered by the Center for Audiology.
For people with hearing loss and their families the follow advice is given. It is inadvisable to shout when speaking with someone wearing a hearing aid. Shouting distorts your voice as amplified through the aid, and can cause pain. There is no dishonor in wearing a hearing aid. It’s better to have people see that you have a hearing problem than to miss out on so much of life.
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