a patient's journey to better hearing: Alice's story
Have you thought about hearing aids and felt you had more concerns than excitement? My patients often express their concerns surrounding the cost, and the way they look but also feel their hearing just “isn’t that bad, yet.” I want to share one of my patient’s stories with you; how her concerns were addressed and how her new hearing aids have changed her life, for the better! Hearing loss affects millions of Americans. I am hopeful that by sharing, you feel supported and know that you are not alone.
I first met my patient, Alice* when she attended one of my free lectures (pre-covid). She expressed these same concerns about hearing aids but also about getting a hearing test. She asked about the cost and worried about the way that they would look. She never even had her hearing tested before because she felt her hearing wasn’t “that bad, yet.” After listening to my presentation, she knew it was time to have her hearing evaluated.
At the time of her appointment, Alice’s results showed a moderate to severe high frequency sensorineural hearing loss in both ears. Sensorineural means permanent nerve damage in the hearing organ, most likely caused by aging. During her appointment, we discussed the importance of taking care of her hearing loss and the consequences of untreated hearing loss, such as the link to cognitive decline and social isolation. I programmed a set of hearing aids so she could see what they look like and hear the difference for herself. During the demonstration, she noticed a significant difference in the quality of the sounds she was hearing. Sounds that once were muffled and dull now sounded sharp, bright, and clear! I also showed her what they look like in the mirror and she gasped that she could barely see them!
After wearing her new hearing aids for just a week Alice returned to me for a follow-up appointment with great excitement. She noticed a significant difference, not only in her hearing but in her overall well-being. Alice realized that she always sat up front during lectures because she couldn’t hear the speaker from the back and noticed that she had to be very attentive to listen to make sure she got every word. She had thought that the acoustics in the room made it difficult to hear the speaker. After attending a lecture with her hearing aids, she realized it wasn’t the acoustics but her hearing. During this lecture, she sat in the back and was able to listen to the speaker with ease and understood every word. From her experience wearing her hearing aids for just a week, she felt more outgoing. Alice told me that she always wanted to volunteer but there was something holding her back from that social interaction. Since getting her hearing aids she has been volunteering consistently, talking to old friends and family, and is overall happier.
Like Alice, there may be some things that you are doing unconsciously to accommodate for your undiagnosed hearing loss. When considering hearing aids, most people think about the cost and how they will look. Not many think about how better hearing can positively impact their overall quality of life. So get your hearing tested today with a licensed audiologist to get the right hearing aid for you and your budget!
I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have on your journey to better hearing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
**names have been changed to protect the privacy of my patient**