Every year around this time, the phone in our hearing center starts to ring with people calling. Sometimes it’s a frustrated patient, who has been sitting at the table missing everything their grandchild has said or missed the punchline and said the wrong thing in front of your in-laws. Sometimes, it’s the adult child, who lives in another state and has come home for the festivities and suddenly notices their mother isn’t responding when they call her from across the room. The holidays are a time full of love, special moments…. lots and lots of noisy social situations! Noisy environments are one of the most situations to hear in, even if you have normal hearing.
The holidays mean we are out and about more, going to parties, shopping at bustling stores, and interacting with people we don’t see very often. All of those situations can bring to light a hearing loss that may have previously gone undetected, and also bring home the emotional toll of not being able to communicate with the special people in our lives.
At best, hearing loss will cause some uncomfortable moments and at worse, it will alienate you from your family. You aren’t alone! Thirty to thirty-five percent of adults between the ages of 65 and 75 years suffer from hearing loss, and Forty to 50 percent of adults 75 and older suffer from hearing loss. People with untreated hearing loss (those with hearing loss who do not wear hearing aids) experience a decreased quality of life. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to issues such as sadness, depression, anxiety, paranoia, cognitive decline, and poor social relationships.
One way of treating age-related hearing loss is with hearing aids. Today’s hearing aids are digital microcomputers that can automatically adjust to sound thousands of times per second, making speech comfortable and natural sounding. Hearing aids can improve communication with family, friends, and co-workers, which can help maintain a high quality of life.
Do you struggle to understand people when you are at restaurants or parties? Do you get complaints from your family that the tv is too loud, but you still can’t understand what they are saying? Are you embarrassed when you miss the joke? This is a great time to get your hearing checked, so you can fully participate in the holiday festivities. If you have normal hearing, then you can feel at ease. If you don’t, you have time to consider all your options and do something for yourself and your family this holiday season. Give yourself the gift of good hearing and good health this holiday season – get your hearing tested!