by Linda Bilodeau
During the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I spent time looking at my life by reviewing the present, the past year, and what I’d like to accomplish in the coming year. As a writer, I produce lists, which helps in my assessment. Additionally, and as someone who has hearing loss, I take a good look at how well I’m hearing, my hearing equipment, my audiological visits, and what I feel I need in the future to help me hear better.
Like most people with hearing loss, I find it difficult to hear in a noisy environment. When I join friends at a restaurant or at a party, I think about the environs, the number of people there, and where I am seated or standing. How many times did I ask someone to repeat? What settings was I using on my aids? Did I use my mini mic? Take a look at your willingness to socialize. Are you reluctant to meet with friends and family because of the difficulty hearing in a noisy environment? If the answer is yes, speak with your audiologist about how to improve your hearing ability in noise. There are many accessories available that might help.
I have Made-for-iPhone aids, and I assess my connectivity to my phone and pad and how well I am hearing music and programs that I stream. I have an in-house hearing loop and I always make sure that it is working properly, as it is the only way I can hear my television.
There are certain household noises that I do hear when I am wearing my aids. I pay close attention to how well I’m hearing my appliances, doorbell, and phone ringing. I hear very little without my aids. Not being able to hear environmental noises is something you should report to your audiologist.
It is vital to make sure your hearing aids or implants are in good working order so it is a good idea to visit your audiologist regularly. I have been with the same audiologist for 16 years. He has a PhD in audiology and deals with equipment from all the major hearing aid manufacturers. Since I purchase my aids from him, he allows me two annual visits, and an annual hearing test as part of the purchase package. Additionally he sees me, free of charge, whenever I need an adjustment with my aids. If you don’t have an audiologist, it might be beneficial to find one and develop a relationship with that person.
I frequently visit hearing websites to keep track of the latest in technology and how to use peripheral devices. It is important to keep yourself abreast of hearing news. By doing so, you can take charge of your hearing.
In 2022, vow to do everything you can to improve your hearing. Ultimately, and with the best and most updated equipment, you might find that it is easier to meander through the hearing world.