If you have new or increased hearing loss, adjusting to the problem can be a daily challenge. When you have a hearing loss, you have to learn new ways to communicate with loved ones, navigate shopping trips and other outings and watch danger when out in public. There are a few things you can do daily to deal with the challenge of a hearing loss.

Be Upfront

The first thing you need to do is be upfront and honest with new people. Tell them about your hearing loss and what they can do to help you understand. Do they need to speak louder, face you when they talk, repeat things? Hiding your hearing loss or not being clear about your needs is not fair to you or others. Your friends and family can only help if they know your needs.

Turn Off the Background Noise

If you’re having dinner, hanging out with friends or riding in a car, turn off the background noise. Focusing in on a conversation is more helpful than trying to discern words through competing sounds.

Repeat Back

If you’re receiving instructions or hearing information for the first time, repeat it back to the speaker. It doesn’t hurt to make sure that you’ve received the correct information and in some cases, like asking for directions or crossing the street, it can be essential to safety to understand.

Embrace the Technology

In this day and age of ever-increasing technological advances, there are so many assistance items that can help the hearing challenged. You can have lights installed in your home that will go off when the doorbell rings, the oven timer goes off, or the wash load ends. Special telephones will display conversations on a screen and speakers or hearing amplifiers can be moved closer to your seating to hear TV and radios better. FM systems can assist you in understanding things from a distance like a speaker in a classroom, a concert, a movie or a play. A personal amplifier is a portable microphone that a teacher or meeting speaker can wear directly on their clothing to help you hear better.

Hearing Aids are Your Best Friend

The most important thing when you’re dealing with hearing loss is your choice of hearing aid. Hearing aids can put you back on even ground with your hearing friends and allow you to live your life to the fullest again. They come in multiple, colors, designs and sizes and they can fit directly in your ear or behind your ear canal. There is no longer a stigma surrounding hearing aids. They are now small and mostly invisible, and the world has caught up with technology hear, many people are wearing a Bluetooth device anyway to listen to their phone, and others understand the need for aid.

To learn more about hearing aids in Scottsdale and discuss all of your communication options, schedule an appointment today.

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Dr. Natacia N. Howard

Natacia is from a small village in northern Wisconsin. She obtained her Doctorate of Audiology (Au.D.) from A.T. Still University – Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2013. She joined Scottsdale Ear, Nose and Throat in 2016 and specializes in vestibular diagnostic and hearing aid fittings. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her husband, family and friends, cuddle her kitties and play softball.
    You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again – Regina’s Story

    Regina has suffered from hearing problems since she was an infant, recognized as regular chronic ear infections. And, as with unfortunate events, she has experienced a multitude of audiology catastrophes.

    It was many years before Regina crossed paths with Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat; where her lifetime of hearing problems was addressed effectively and treated with the delicate care that she desperately required.

    Regina’s journey began when she was taken to a regular paediatrician by her mother from a young age. Her ears were, what we describe as an audiologists recipe for disaster, ‘flushed out’.

    This dangerous procedure caused a nasty infection, which spread to her mastoid bone and, at the age of 15, she underwent a tympanoplasty mastoidectomy to stop the infection spreading. This only forbade her future struggles with hearing loss. 

    As with poor diagnosis, Regina was faced with another canaloplasty which didn’t work. Soon after, she received a BAHA, which is a cochlear implant in her skull that acts as a sound processor that detects sound and transforms it into vibrations. 

    However, suffering from a history of poor hearing care, she was unaware of the former issues her ear presented.

    By now, this would be described as any audiologists nightmare. But, we’re proud to have helped Regina on her road to optimum hearing and reconnect her to her loved ones.

    When she arrived at Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat it was evident that she was losing hearing on her right side. At this point, she was fitted with a ReSound hearing device, which provided the catalyst to a new and improved hearing.

    The first thing Regina noticed was the indefinite sound she had been making whilst emptying the dishwasher, completely unaware of the noise she was making!

    “I mean, the detail that I can hear now it’s like, Whoa, I didn’t realize I was making that much noise. I need to be quieter!”

    Treated with professional care, Regina received a comprehensive hearing assessment with Dr. Debra Hamila.

    “I just love, love, love Dr. Hamila, she is such a professional and loving person. I was so impressed with the office and what she did with the ReSound, I just love her.”

    Like many others, it takes years for people to realize they have a hearing problem. Regina described this moment as life-changing.

    “You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again. Especially now I’m a full-time Grammy Nanny, I can hear so much more and it has enriched my life incredibly.”

    What advice would you give to someone who is deliberating on taking the first step towards better hearing?

    “My advice to them would be to have a hearing test. Especially as we age our hearing goes down. It’s really unfortunate that people carry their pride and are not willing to learn to walk with the rock in their shoe. You don’t realise you’re waking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again.”

    Regina is one of many patients who has been impacted by our audiological services and we are proud to have been able to provide the tool towards better hearing and a lifetime of many more memories.