Hearing Loss: Symptoms, Dangers, and Solutions – Part III

Mitigating hearing loss has many benefits: improved social interaction, self-esteem and quality of life; improved safety, increased self confidence and sense of independence;  and improved mental acuity and memory.  Shelly Rogerson, RN, who is board certified by the International Hearing Society, recently visited Shell Point and shared some insights about hearing loss symptoms, dangers, and solutions. Part III focuses on hearing loss solutions.

If you suspect hearing loss, keep a diary of listening experiences and difficulties so you can give your practitioner specific examples.  It’s important to have your hearing evaluated yearly and request that copies of your records be forwarded to your primary care physician. Make sure to follow all recommendations of your hearing care practitioner and primary care physician regarding your hearing.

Your healthcare provider can assess your hearing and develop the best solutions for your situation.  If a hearing aid is recommended, there are many considerations when determining the type of hearing aid that would work best for your situation. Your lifestyle plays a role: are you out and about often, coming into contact with a wide range of significant background noise? Or are your surroundings usually relatively quiet, with the sounds of the outdoors or television?  Hearing aids work by amplifying the kind of sounds that are hardest to hear. When people start wearing hearing aids, they may notice things will sound different. Adjusting takes some time and patience.

Special telephones and TVs, radio listening systems, and other amplifying systems also can help.  While hearing aids cannot restore normal hearing, more than 90% of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids, according to the National Council on Aging. An NCOA survey on hearing loss and older adults found that when people began to use hearing aids, many saw improvements in their lives including mental health, sense of independence, and social life.

A comprehensive array of specialty physicians and healthcare providers work with patients directly on Shell Point property through our state-of-the-art medical centers. Often this affords Shell Point residents the unique opportunity to receive even the most specialized care without leaving their community.