The holiday season is a time of celebration with family and friends which usually begins at Thanksgiving and stretches though to the New Year. It’s a time of laughter, celebration and good conversation. But that is not the case if you have an untreated hearing loss. In fact, if you are among the many that have hearing loss, you may be experiencing feelings of isolation and depression.
The holiday seasons generally spark an increase in audiology tests and hearing instrument purchases. Family gatherings and social interactions over the holidays are a prime time of identifying a hearing problem. Hearing loss is a gradual impairment that can happen at any age and most often goes untreated. It is during the holiday season, where most often family and friends will notice that a hearing impairment may exist. Typical signs of a hearing loss may be: ignorance of conversations, asking to repeat sentences, withdrawal from regular conversation and signs of confusion.
Other signs to look out for over the holiday season include:
- Giving the wrong answers to questions
- Constantly saying 'what' or 'pardon'
- Loud volumes on television or radio
- Difficulty in following conversations where there is background music or conversation
- Not hearing the telephone or doorbell ringing
Hearing loss still has stigma attached to it being an old age or disabling condition, which puts people off doing anything about it. However, if glasses can be worn for eyesight, and braces for dental work, why should a hearing aid cause embarrassment? The design and size of devices are now so much more discrete than perhaps people perceive, or can even be unique shapes and colors.
The latest hearing instrument technology provides a multitude of options allowing us to hear better and clearer, while minimizing the unwanted background noise so common during the holiday season. Hearing aids have improved immensely through the years, especially within the last few years thanks to advancements in digital technology.
The advice to individuals or family members that notice a potential hearing issue is to arrange an appointment with a Hearing Instrument Practitioner which will provide detailed results including the degree and type of hearing loss. It will also enable the specialist to rule out ear wax or other medical issues that can result in a hearing loss. So there is no reason or excuse to wait any longer – getting your hearing tested should be the first item on your holiday “to-do” list.