How to overcome the ‘stigma’ of hearing aids

By December 20, 2018 News
Patients (especially males!) are often very self-conscious about the look of hearing aids and feeling old.
 
Dr. Jane Baxter, Au.D. walks us through how she tackles this social obstacle in her office:
 
 
I handle each patient differently.
 
Sometimes I take a hearing aid and put it on their ear without showing them what it looks like.
 
I then get two mirrors and hold them up in the front and the back for them to look. 
 
After I ask them what they think, they say “Where is it? I can’t see it.”  
 
I point out that you can’t see the tiny devices that rest in the shadow behind the ear.
 
Their response is an emotional one, so it doesn’t help to point out that a hearing loss is much more noticeable than a hearing aid! 
 
Holding your hand up to your ear, asking for repetitions, answering with the wrong answer are all much more noticeable than a small device behind the ear.
 
There are now many invisible hearing aids and I always ask my patients to be honest and tell me if this is important to them.
 
Some devices sit deep in the ear canal near the eardrum.
 
I tell them my job is to select the best technology and style of device for them.
 
There is no best hearing aid for everyone.
 
It takes your brain time to learn and hearing aids need to be calibrated as your brain changes.
 
NO two hearing losses are alike, and people’s brains react to sounds differently.
 
The relationship with each patient allows us to customize their hearing aids just for them.
 
You hear with your ears but interpret and process with your brain.
 
It is important to measure each patient’s ability to process sound in noisy environments, sounds that are uncomfortably loud, etc. 
 
Schedule an appointment with us today to see if hearing aids are right for you.
 
 
-Dr. Jane H. Baxter, Au.D.

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