I love how clients describe their hearing loss. “My hearing sounds FOGGY.” “It’s like people are talking through a wet towel.” “Life sounds blurry and out of focus.” “It’s a lot like trying to look through a dirty window.” These descriptions of hearing loss made me think of a wonderful saying that I once heard:
The eyes are the window to the soul,
the ears are the window to the heart!
When you have an UNtreated (or UNDERtreated) hearing loss, you might say that the window to your heart is dirty. In order to clean that window, you need to choose the right Hearing Healthcare Provider and the best hearing technology for you and your unique hearing needs.
Many of you have already done this by choosing Avalon for your hearing care. You no longer struggle with UNtreated hearing loss. But the story of keeping you hearing the best you can …for life does not end here. Too many people may be slipping into the category I call, UNDERtreated hearing loss.
Let’s revisit the concept of AUDITORY DEPRIVATION
When you begin to lose some of your hearing, the brain no longer receives important sounds and information. For many people, high-frequency sounds such as S, F, T, K, and TH become soft and indistinguishable. Over time, the brain may forget how to process these sounds. The sooner you start stimulating what’s left of your hearing AND your brain, the better that is for your overall health and well-being. I like to think of properly fit hearing instruments as exercise machines for your ears and your brain. (Notice that I bold-faced properly fit.)
Are you exercising your ears AND your brain, EVERY DAY?
Some people get hearing aids and then, “only use them when they need them”. That usually means they wear their hearing aids when they are around people. In this global pandemic, we are spending more time at home and not socializing with many people. This means a lot of people are NOT wearing their hearing aids every day. 😞
Beautiful, Radiant, Audacious, Terrific woman
A true story about a BRAT
A few weeks ago, one of my clients came in for her regular check-up. When I asked her if she had any concerns about her hearing or her hearing aids, she replied, “I’ve been a brat. I haven’t been wearing my hearing aids much because I am at home most of the time, so I don’t really need them.” I felt sad that she called herself a brat. Together, we gently explored what she was thinking and feeling about her hearing loss and her hearing aids. Next, I re-tested her hearing and re-programmed her hearing instruments to better match her current hearing loss. She agreed that she would wear them every day for several hours.
Three weeks later, she came in for a follow-up visit. She led with, “I have not been a brat.” To which I replied, “Let’s turn the word BRAT into an anacronym!” Here’s what we came up with: Beautiful, Radiant, Audacious, Terrific woman!
What she said next, deeply touched my heart
“I have worn my hearing aids every day! Thank you, Betty, for normalizing my reluctance to wear hearing aids. You told me that you can only be ready when you are ready! I am now ready to wear my hearing aids and make them a part of my daily life. I also recognized the fatigue I was experiencing because of my hearing loss. I don’t feel as tired now that I wear my hearing aids, every day. I’ve turned wearing my hearing aids into a habit!”
This client is a BRAT…a Beautiful, Radiant, Audacious, Terrific person who willingly shared her concerns and grappled with wearing hearing aids. She came out of this process and is tending to her hearing in a healthy way!
Another story of a man with UNDERtreated hearing loss
Just the other day, George came in with his two, year old hearing aids. He thought he was doing as well as could be expected with his amount of hearing loss. But he was only getting 64% understanding. After testing his hearing and reprogramming his instruments, we were able to bring George’s understanding up to 92%. I reminded George that we adopted him, and our promise is to keep him hearing the best he can for life – his life, right now, AND his life, in years to come! He left a happy man, more connected to life!
In this case, George had invested in hearing care with Avalon, so he no longer had UNtreated hearing loss. But he had slipped into an UNDERtreated hearing loss. His hearing aids were not stimulating his hearing accurately and needed to be reprogrammed. You might say that we cleaned George’s window to his heart by reprogramming his hearing aids to better match his hearing loss! Now, George is hearing more clearly, feels more connected, and his brain is being stimulated!
Are you struggling with UNDERtreated hearing loss or are you being a BRAT?
Remember, properly fit hearing aids are like exercise machines. Do you need a ‘Window Cleaner’ like George did? Or are you being a ‘brat’ and need the support of a ‘Hearing Coach’ to help you come to terms with wearing hearing aids?
If you are struggling with your hearing, AND not feeling very connected, please reach out and call us at (916) 235-9771.