The snowdrops are out and the dark, cold nights are beginning to recede. It won't be long before the air is filled with the promises of renewal and birdsong. Spring is a great excuse for a bit of a shake-up in life; to stop procrastinating and to make some positive changes that can have a real impact on the way we move forward.
Now Is The Time To Tackle Hearing Health
Often hearing problems start with small niggles that are easily ignored. Any gradual decline can be hard to identify as reduced hearing capacity is something many people simply learn to live with. The TV volume starts to rise, one notch at a time, conversations become more inaccessible and the feeling of isolation can creep up on you unexpectedly. Ignoring our hearing health can be detrimental to our happiness and wellbeing. The digital age has opened up new ways in which to tackle hearing loss - but to access the right solutions, we have to face up to the problem.
What's The Harm In Ignoring Hearing Loss?
Untreated hearing loss can have a negative impact on your emotional health - According to a study by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, those with untreated hearing loss are more likely to suffer from depression than the general population. The lack of social interaction can also lead to heightened levels of anxiety and paranoia.
According to new studies by the Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, treatment to combat hearing loss should help prevent 'cognitive decline, depression and dementia, each of which is strongly associated with hearing loss'.
Hearing loss can make social gatherings an exhausting experience - The brain is so busy trying to process what is being said that it can sometimes lead to a condition known as listening fatigue. It can lead to people avoiding large gatherings entirely, which in turn can create a feeling of social isolation.
If your hearing loss is left untreated, relationships can be put under significant strain - A breakdown in communication can lead to anger and frustration, resentment and loneliness. Such negative emotions can lead to a change in the way we relate to our spouse, family, friends or co-workers.
Undiagnosed hearing loss can be detrimental in the workplace - It can negatively impact on the way in which we carry out tasks, can decrease productivity, impact self-esteem and create a low emotional state.
Sudden hearing loss may reflect an underlying medical issue - If this has happened to you, don't hesitate - ring your doctor and secure an appointment as soon as possible.
What Can Be Done About Suspected Hearing Loss?
Accept help and get your hearing tested - Once you've had a thorough health check carried out on your hearing, the right treatment can be applied. There are two ways in which to test for hearing loss; either visit your local audiologist or take an online screening test.
Make your hearing test an annual event - If you're already wearing hearing aids, you should revisit your audiologist for regular check-ups to ensure any changes to your hearing are identified. If you have a progressive hearing loss, you may find the settings on your hearing aids will need to be adjusted to reflect your latest audiogram.
You can even take our online hearing test for free!
Don't be afraid to get to grips with technology - Manufacturers go to great efforts to design user-friendly hearing solutions that can make all the difference to day to day living. Learn to embrace this new technology and it could transform the way you live.
How To Manage Hearing LossDepending on the type and severity of your hearing loss, there are a variety of options for effective management of the impairment. There are many useful gadgets available; it's a case of what works best for you. At Hearing Direct, you will find the following hearing solutions:
- Digital Hearing Aids - come in all shapes and sizes, technology levels and price brackets. The most advanced can locate and enhance speech sound, reduce unwanted background noise and eliminate distracting feedback. Hearing aids are so small and lightweight these days, that many models are practically invisible.
- Amplified Phones and Mobiles - help you stay connected with friends and family. These extra loud phones are available with large backlit keys and flashing lights so you don't miss an incoming phone call. They are also ideal for seniors or those seeking an uncomplicated telephone.
- Extra Loud Alarm Clocks - often come with a vibrate mode and flashing lights to wake the heaviest of sleepers.
- Wireless TV Listeners - can be enormously liberating. Say goodbye to the daily debate over the TV volume. One of these would enable you to listen to your favourite shows without making your next-door neighbour listen too!
- Amplified Doorbells and Smoke Alarms - ensure you don't miss a visitor and that you wake at the first sign of danger.
- Captions - describe the audio element of a program or video, so dialogue can be followed more easily. Widely available on televisions, computers, mobile phones there are now many cinemas and theatres that recognise the need for caption readers. Don't forget to ask when you book your tickets!
- Loop Systems - often found in large public places like theatres and lecture halls, enable you to stream audio directly to your hearing aids. In order to benefit, you need to ensure your hearing aids have a telecoil setting and that it's turned on.