Friday, December 30, 2011

Hearing Loss Can Dimish The Holidays

See how hearing loss can diminish the holidays for some
Published: Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 3:37 PM     Updated: Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 3:39 PM
The holidays are a time to gather together with family and friends. But they can be bittersweet for many—especially for those with unaddressed hearing loss. For the individual with untreated hearing loss, the growing difficulty in hearing and communication can lead to fatigue, isolation, and depression, even when surrounded by loved ones.

The Center for Audiology at JFK Medical Center in Edison offers an easy, free, and convenient way to get information by doing a hearing self-assessment. By logging on to and answering the questions, you will receive a score and a recommendation for follow-up right in the comfort and privacy of your home.
Hearing loss occurs at all ages and there is increasing evidence that people with certain medical conditions—such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, heart disease, and even vision loss—may be at an increased risk of hearing loss. And numerous studies have linked untreated hearing loss to a wide range of physical and emotional conditions.

According to a Better Hearing Institute study, family members play a critical role in whether loved ones address a hearing loss. More than half (51%) of new first-time owners of hearing aids said that family members were a key factor influencing their purchase. Fifty-five percent of new hearing aid users sought treatment once they realized through testing how serious their hearing loss was.

In the vast majority of situations, hearing aids can help a person hear well. Studies have shown that hearing aid wearers experience significant improvements in quality of life and decreased depressive symptoms; have significantly higher self-concepts compared to individuals who do not wear hearing aids; and their functional health status improves significantly after three months of hearing aid use.

There are several social and emotional signs of hearing loss that people can watch for this holiday season:

Require frequent repetition
Have difficulty following conversations involving more than two people
Think that other people sound muffled or like they’re mumbling
Have difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms
Have trouble hearing children and women
Have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume
Answer or respond inappropriately in conversations
Have ringing in your ears
Read lips or more intently watch people’s faces when they speak with you

Feel stressed out from straining to hear what others are saying
Feel annoyed at other people because you can’t hear or understand them
Feel embarrassed to meet new people or from misunderstanding what others are saying
Feel nervous about trying to hear and understand
Withdraw from social situations that you once enjoyed because of difficulty hearing
By staying alert to the signs of hearing loss, and by encouraging loved ones to address the problem, families and friends can help each other regain their quality of life and strengthen relationships

Hearing Loss Can Diminish The Holidays

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