Overcoming Hearing Aid Fears: The Road to Better Hearing

Overcoming Hearing Aid Fears: The Road to Better Hearing

Overcoming Hearing Aid Fears: The Road to Better Hearing

Overcoming Hearing Aid Fears: The Road to Better Hearing

Synopsis

There are dozens of misconceptions about hearing aids: "They make you look old." "They cause ear infections." "They increase hearing loss." "I can't afford one." This misinformation impairs a person's quality of life by discouraging him or her from pursuing help. Technological advances have enabled hearing aids to address a greater range of hearing losses, while making them smaller, better designed, and easier to use than those of the past. More people than ever can benefit from a hearing aid, yet of the nearly thirty million people with a hearing impairment, only about 20 percent choose to use one. In Overcoming Hearing Aid Fears, audiologist John M. Burkey addresses common fears, concerns, and misconceptions about hearing aids to help readers decide whether these devices will prove helpful. Using an informal, anecdotal style informed by years of clinical practice, Burkey provides practical information about hearing aid styles, options, and costs. His expertise and experience in caring for more than 50,000,patients will assist people with hearing loss address their personal concerns. The book also helps friends and family understand why a loved one might resist getting a hearing aid, and offers tips on counseling. Audiologists will find this text an important educational tool in advising their own patients. Approximately 10 percent of Americans (and nearly one-third of people age seventy and older) have some degree of hearing loss that, if left untreated, causes frustration, isolation, and depression. A hearing aid is a simple tool to improve careers, relationships, and self-esteem, and to provide independence and security. Overcoming Hearing Aid Fears can help readers take that firststep to a better life.

Excerpt

Cindy Johnson was forty-eight years old when I first saw her as a patient. She had worked for many years as an outside sales representative for a large corporation. Although she could easily understand loud speech, she struggled when speech was at a normal conversational level. She could not understand speech that was soft. Although Cindy recognized that the hearing loss was affecting her work and her personal life, she had avoided an evaluation because she feared this would lead to her having to wear hearing aids. Her main concern was that hearing aids would make her appear old. She had suffered her hearing loss for several years until a new boyfriend whom she cared about very much convinced her that the hearing loss was affecting their relationship and that she should seek help.

Cindy's hearing evaluation confirmed the hearing loss and indicated that she would be a good candidate for hearing aids. She purchased a hearing aid for each ear and adjusted to them quickly. She was thrilled that she could again hear and understand her clients at work. the hearing aids made it easier to talk with her boyfriend and allowed her to feel more comfortable and confident talking with him and others in most settings. By allowing her to do more comfortably, the hearing aids helped her to feel younger rather than older. She wears her hearing aids every day and would now not be without them.

Florence Hamilton was an eighty-one-year-old widow who was brought to my office by her daughter for a hearing evaluation. She had suffered a stroke several years previously that had left her with paralysis on the left side. She moved in with her daughter following her stroke. Although Mrs. Hamilton denied any significant hearing problem, her daughter reported that the television was uncomfortably loud and everyone had to speak loudly or directly into her . . .

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