Guest Author - Cathy Brownfield
Some impairments are tolerable if nobody can see them or identify them. If you break a leg, everyone knows itís going to heal in a matter of weeks. If you have cataract surgery, everyone knows you are going to see better. If you are near-sighted or far-sighted, eyeglasses or contacts will make your vision impairment tolerable because you can get back into the game.
But there are some impairments that donít go away. And though often there are ways to cope with hearing devices, people would rather deny the problem exists and not even try out their options to live, not just exist, in the hearing world. The first step is admitting that thereís a problem. The second step is getting a diagnosis. The third step is following up as prescribed by your hearing specialist.
You will want to be proactive in your hearing impairment treatment. What is your actual diagnosis? Do you understand what it is, what you can do and what are all of your options?
If your doctor advises that you are a good candidate for hearing aids, are there any good reasons why you should NOT give them a try? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Check with your health insurance provider to see if you have coverage for hearing aids, how much coverage you have and over what period of time your new hearing aid(s) cover. For instance, my provider covers up to $2,500 over five years.
2. Ask your hearing aid provider if there are other resources to help you pay for your hearing aids. My provider advised me that she would apply in my behalf to our stateís rehabilitation commission for my hearing aids. Because I am a writer and publicist, my case is a ďjob save.Ē If I canít hear, I canít work.
3. Ask your hearing aid specialist about your options. I wanted aids to fit into my ears so no one could see them. And I hated them. I couldnít hear Ďnaturally.í I read a few articles about hearing aids that gave me a little better idea about hearing devices. Did you realize that hearing and cognitive development have been linked? Hearing helps us to process information. If we canít hear, we canít process as well, resulting in poor memory and fewer problem-solving skills because the brain has to work so hard just to hear.
New generation hearing devices go beyond ďjustĒ providing quality sound and speech comprehension. Digital technology gives even better hearing quality, a more natural hearing capacity. The focus now is on individualized treatment that is tailored to each person. Youíre going to get what you need, not what everyone else is getting.
4. Donít be shy about asking questions.
5. If the first hearing devices you try donít please you, can you try something else? Is there a trial period before you buy?
6. Are there foods and vitamin supplements that promote better hearing, that can help prevent further hearing loss?
7. How can you best take care of your hearing so it will last your lifetime?
Hearing aids arenít for everyone, and they donít help every hearing loss. Ask your questions. Donít keep what isnít working for youÖask what will work better.
I ended up with Oticon Deltas. (I do not receive any compensation for my opinion) They work best for me. I donít have that ďpluggedĒ feeling in my ears. I forget that they are even there. I hear so well with them that I donít care if anyone notices them, though I havenít found anyone yet who has noticed. I can hear again. Iím not isolating myself to avoid the embarrassment of NOT hearing. I can live again. I can be in a crowd again and feel comfortable in conversations again. And I can continue to write and work in my profession.
Donít you want that, too?