Living With Hearing Aids

Living with hearing aids sounds very straightforward – right? After all, if you need something to improve your quality of life such as surgery or physiotherapy or even glasses most people wouldn’t hesitate. In fact glasses have now become such a fashion accessory that people with no eyesight problems wear them just because they are made by one fashion designer or another.

So why do so few people who need them not wear hearing aids?

My current BTE hearing aid
BTE HEARING AIDS

The worldwide figure for hearing loss is approximately a mind boggling 360 million.

In the UK alone there are an estimated 10 million people who have some form of hearing loss. Yet only about 1/5 of those actually wear a hearing aid.

WHY?

I have had hearing issues since I was 8 years old (I’m now 50), yet have only been wearing my aids for the last 5 years. The reasons are varied and are the same ones that I believe prevent most people from doing the same. From talking to a varied range of people and from my own personal experience I have identified 5 main reasons that make people reluctant to to wear something that can quite literally be a life changer.

  • “My hearing is not to bad.” The old denial excuse!!
  • I used this one for so many years that I actually came to believe it myself. Even when the audiologist clearly showed me that my hearing was getting worse I always convinced myself that I could cope without help. When I couldn’t hear conversation, it was because the other person wasn’t speaking loudly enough. When I couldn’t hear the car approaching, it was because something else distracted me. Never my fault!!
  • Vanity.
  • This is the most common excuse I have found in younger people, particularly teenagers. Being a teen is difficult enough, having to go through all the various struggles that they do, trying to look cool, discovering the opposite/same sex, school pressure and peer pressure. Now try and tell them that they have a disability and need to use hearing aids. Not going to happen!!
  • Hearing aids are only for old people.
  • The excuse I personally used right throughout my twenties and thirties. I had myself convinced that admitting I needed help with my hearing was the same as admitting I was old. I didn’t want to see myself as anything other than a fun loving, healthy and independent person. Even when I couldn’t hear the baby monitor of our daughter crying. The monitor must be broken. It can’t be me!!
  • The hearing aids don’t fit right or they hurt to wear.
  • This is the excuse for those people who can no longer deny that they need help. There can be an element of truth in this one. They can be uncomfortable at the beginning. They can hurt if they are not fitted correctly and they do take time to get used to. So thats it then, stick them in the drawer and forget about them!!
  • Embarrassment.
  • There is an element of this one attached to all the other excuses and I certainly know in my own case it was the over riding factor in not using hearing aids for so long. I used all the other excuses to justify my decision to myself. I was simply too embarrassed to be seen wearing a hearing aid!!

So how do we change this perception?

My current ITE hearing aids
ITE HEARING AIDS

The last five years that I have been wearing my hearing aids have been the the most productive of my life. My social life has never been better. In fact my all round quality of life is second to none.

We need to have a discussion that opens up and can dispel the obstacles that prevent people from having the very best quality of life available. We can look at all the various types of hearing aids out there. Look at what might be suitable for various ages of people. The two I have shown here are BTE (behind the ear) and ITE (in the ear).

We will look at the various other issues that tend to be associated with hearing loss such as tinnitus and balance issues. We can look at all the various accessories available to help in these areas.

I will be writing a series of blogs and posts highlighting my experience with all of these issues on an ongoing basis.

I will be looking at and discussing products that can make a difference to you.

This website aims to help you or someone you know to get through their fears and embarrassment and ultimately lead you to the better quality of life that you deserve.

Why not join me. Write a comment below or contact me at eddie@helpwithhearingloss.com

Lets dispel the myths and fears and let our voices be HEARD.

7 Replies to “Living With Hearing Aids”

  1. You point out a lot of valid reasons for why people would not want to be wearing a hearing aid, and I can certainly understand the things people would be dealing with.

    My wife is at the stage of needing hearing aids and what she is looking at is which ones actually to purchase as they are very expensive. She wants to make sure she can get what works best for the price.

    Any suggestions to type and price?

    1. Hi Travis,

      Thanks for the comments. This is the sort of things this new site will be dealing with. As the site progresses I will be reviewing different types of hearing aids, such as BTE (behind the ear) V ITE (in the ear). Price guides and what you get for your money.

      Firstly,I would suggest that your wife establishes the level of her hearing loss. If she has been tested by a audiologist they can give her a copy of her test. If her condition is progressive (i.e. it will get worse in time) she needs to keep this in mind as she wants to ensure she gets hearing aids that will adopt to her condition.

      From there she needs to decide if she wants BTE or ITE aids.

      It is then a case of picking models that suit your price.

      My website is still in the development stage and I am working to get it to the level it needs to be as quickly as possible. I hope these couple of pointers will help somewhat. I would be more than happy to work with your wife some more in helping her to make the right choice.

  2. It took some time to convince my mom to wear a hearing aid. She had no hearing in one ear from her youth, and then started losing hearing in the other. Some of the reasons you stated would probably apply here. I’m glad she finally decided to have one. Now if she can find batteries that can last longer than a day.

    1. Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I’m delighted that your mom decided to get a hearing aid. I know it can be a big step for some people but it can make such a big difference to their quality of life. Getting a hearing aid can also help to stem the loss of hearing in her ear as she will not be putting as much strain on it now because the hearing aid will be taking up the slack.

      Getting the correct batteries can be a pain.The batteries should last longer than a day.The general rule of thumb is that the smaller the battery the less time they will last. However, I have two “in the ear” hearing aids that require only small batteries but they still last approximately 7 days. My other hearing aids which are “behind the ear” models require larger batteries and will last about 10 days.

      If you want to send me details of the model of hearing aid your mom wears and the current type of battery she is using I will work with you to get the best battery available. There are various manufacturers of hearing aid batteries and like everything else in life some are good and some not so good. I am sure we can get something sorted for your mom and get her hearing aid working to it’s full potential. Can you also let me know where you live so that I can look at finding a hearing aid battery stockist close to you.

      I look forward to hearing back from you.

  3. Aloha, My hearing loss is somewhat new, gradual… finding it very difficult emotionally. My insurance covered one hearing aid and the community helped me with the second since I am equal in both ears. Do you know if there are any seminars online or support groups? Mahalo.

    1. Hi Lynette,
      Thank you for getting in touch. Discovering that you have hearing loss can be very difficult to deal with emotionally. There is a lot to deal with and a lot adjusting to do. You may also find that people (including family and friends) don’t realise what you are going through and this can add to an already fraught situation.
      The good news is that there is a world of support groups and forums out there that you can access and talk to others who are in the same situation as yourself. You don’t say where you live but I usually advise people to speak to their health provider, who can put you in touch with a support group in your area. You can also look up groups on the internet for your specific area. There is generally at least one such group in most towns and cities.
      I am a member of two online groups that I find to be very good. One is called “Hearing Loss Community.” and the other is called “Vestibular disorders support group.” Both of these can be found on facebook and have members worldwide. You can discuss anything and everything with other people who are experiencing the exact same thing as yourself.
      If you perhaps struggle to open up in a group situation then please free to continue to contact me. You can do so here on the website or email me directly at edwardseeley67@gmail.com
      I know only too well the personal struggles that you will be going through and would be more than happy to help in any way I can. You don’t have to face this alone. I know that it can seem overwhelming at times Lynette but voicing your frustrations and fears to someone who has been through it will allow you to see that you can overcome any issue and situation that hearing loss throws up.
      I hope that this can be the first step for you in coming to terms with your hearing loss. Please don’t feel that you are alone. Help is out there and always feel free to get in touch with me.
      Regards,
      Eddie.

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