Hearing loss comes on slowly, making it difficult to recognize until it begins to have a significant impact on your daily life.

Changes in hearing are often detected by family and friends before the individuals experiencing hearing challenges recognize them themselves, leading to uncertainty about how to address the problem. And to make matters worse, many don’t know anyone else who has hearing loss or wears hearing aids.

Who do they turn to for help?

The hearing care professionals at Fox Valley ENT often give professional guidance and advice, but many people want to hear from others who have struggled through the same situation or circumstances.

We want to use this month’s blog to encourage you and anyone you know to get the help they need, using inspiring stories from people who took action and now experience better hearing and a better quality of life.

If you know someone who needs a little encouragement, feel free to share this article with them.

Patrick Gave Up Playing Music

A car fanatic, music enthusiast, and grandfather, Patrick stopped playing the accordion when his hearing loss became so bad that he couldn’t hear it anymore.

With some encouragement from his daughter, he decided to get the help he needed and began a hearing journey that allowed him to go back to hearing the things he loves.

His hearing aids have allowed Patrick to reengage with his grandson and his accordion, while giving him control over what he wants to listen to and what he wants to tune out.

Edward Was Embarrassed to Have People See Him With Hearing Aids

“I put off wearing hearing aids for a very long time because I thought I would be embarrassed if people could see me wearing them.”

Edward wasn’t sure hearing aids would make enough difference to warrant going through the embarrassment he’d have to endure. He decided to give them a shot and was pleasantly surprised by what he discovered.

“Not one person has noticed, not even my close family. Now I tell everybody I wear them because I’m delighted to hear clearly again, and because I love their surprised looks when I tell them I wear hearing aids.”

With the app support available with his hearing aids, Edward has complete control over his hearing aid’s settings and enjoys taking calls directly in his hearing aids—which provide 100 percent clarity without him having to ask the caller to speak up.

As an Athlete, Caroline Cites Better Hearing as Her Most Rewarding Experience

Caroline runs, cycles, swims, and hikes, and she enjoys competing in many of those events.

In spite of the many rewarding experiences she’s enjoyed in her active lifestyle, her most life-changing experience was when she began wearing hearing aids.

“Before my hearing aids, fatigue and exhaustion from trying to work out what others were saying was a daily weight that made it hard to find the energy to do the things I love.”

Fortunately, Caroline’s audiologist helped her select hearing aids that she doesn’t have to take out during her favorite sporting activities, allowing her to enjoy their benefits while she trains and competes.

“It’s made a phenomenal difference in my social interactions as well. I no longer feel the fatigue and exhaustion that used to drag me down. Also, I can now hear things happening behind me, so if someone calls out to me I can hear them. And, obviously, that is important from a safety aspect.”

Stories like these are common among those who got the help they needed thanks to advanced solutions that overcome stigmas and obstacles. Click here to learn more about advanced-technology hearing aids at Fox Valley ENT.

Top Two Stumbling Blocks for Individuals With Hearing Loss

From the moment they begin to recognize signs of hearing loss until they seek the help they need, the average person waits seven years.

During that time, their hearing gets worse and they place themself at greater risk of developing other negative physical and mental health conditions.

However, if you ask those who have achieved better hearing through successful treatment, all of them will say they wish they had taken action sooner.

Why don’t people take action sooner?

There are two major stumbling blocks that prevent most people with hearing loss from getting the help they need.

#1—The Hearing Aid Stigma

No one is ever excited about getting their first pair of hearing aids.

However, barring a major medical or technological breakthrough, hearing aids are the most effective way to restore your capacity to communicate and hear the sounds that make life worth living.

Fortunately, the stigma that has been attached to hearing aids is rapidly disappearing as today’s hearing aid technology continues to become smaller, lighter weight, more powerful, and far more discreet to wear.

In fact, many of our patients tell us that family members, friends, and colleagues have never noticed their hearing aids!

If the hearing aid stigma is your biggest stumbling block, then schedule an appointment and see what modern hearing aids do and look like—what you discover will surprise you!

#2—The Price of Investment

Prescription hearing aid technology and the hearing care support that comes with it involves a considerable investment. There’s no point trying to hide that.

However, like any investment, you need to consider what you will receive in return.

Left untreated, hearing loss can lead to:

  • Social isolation and broken relationships
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cognitive decline and dementia
  • Dizziness, vertigo, and balance issues (critical balance-related falls)
  • Increased risk of accidents (not hearing warnings or instructions, balance-related falls, etc.)

Untreated hearing loss can be costly, according to a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: “Older adults with untreated hearing loss incur substantially higher total health care costs compared to those who don’t have hearing loss— an average of 46 percent, totaling $22,434 per person over a decade.”

Even if you don’t see a return on investment from your hearing aids on your financial ledgers, you will enjoy an improved quality of life and the ability to continue living an active, independent lifestyle.

What’s Next?

If better hearing and the benefits of better relationships, an active social life, improved communication, and independence are valuable to you—or a loved one—you’ll thank yourself for a decision that will have a life-changing impact on your future.

Your next move is to schedule a hearing evaluation at Fox Valley ENT in order to evaluate your hearing and discuss your options.

You can also call us directly at the Algonquin, Elgin, Huntley, or St. Charles, IL, clinic nearest you.

Schedule a Hearing Assessment

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Mariah Carlson, AuD

Mariah earned her B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Butler University before going on to graduate with a Doctor of Audiology at Indiana University. During her time at IU, Mariah gained clinical experience in various environments, including at a hospital, private practice/ENT clinic, and vestibular settings. Mariah also completed her final year externship in Westchester, NY at Westchester Institute of Human Development, where she gained further experience at a cochlear implant clinic, inpatient hospital, and non-profit clinic. Mariah enjoys applying this experience to counsel patients and provide excellent care.