Audiology with a Heart August Newsletter
Communication is a two-way street
As an Audiologist, I often put on the hat of therapist with my patients. The most common conversation I have is focused on facilitating good communication. The truth is that when a person gets hearing aids, the hearing aids do not cure the hearing loss but they help a person communicate more easily than without hearing aids. Unfortunately, many times the person's friends and family expect the person to hear perfectly when wearing the hearing aids. None of us, even those of us with normal hearing, ever hear perfectly all of the time. There are plenty of times when I misunderstand someone or just don't hear what was said. This is normal - our brains sometimes have a hard time when there lots of competing noise or distractions.

I often use the saying "communication goes both ways" meaning that good communication is the responsibility of everyone in the conversation, not just the person with the hearing aids.

What does this mean? Here are some concrete things that everyone can do to help the person with the hearing loss:
  • look directly at the person; we all use visual cues to understand what is being said
  • don't speak to one another from separate rooms or even from a distance
  • lower the TV - it's distracting and confusing to try to understand when the TV is loud
  • get the attention of the person wearing the hearing aids; they might not even realize you are speaking to them and not on the phone (or talking to the dog!)
  • understand that they are not misunderstanding you on purpose; hearing aids help, they do not restore normal hearing function
  • avoid loud restaurants or dimly lit restaurants
  • have a sense of humor!

Please call 561-366-7219 for more information

Sudden Hearing Loss
Sudden hearing loss is a topic I've written about in the past but I think it's time to talk about it again. Recently, I have had two people in the office complaining about a sudden hearing loss. Even though both of the people were experienced, long-term hearing aid users, they experienced a phenomenon called sudden hearing loss. In one case, the person went to bed feeling fine and when they woke up, couldn't hear out of one ear. At first, they thought it was the hearing aid not working but subsequent testing indicated it wasn't the hearing aid but a sudden hearing loss. In both cases, they waited a few days before contacting me and I referred them immediately to an Ear, Nose and Throat physician. Immediate treatment is a key factor in whether or not the hearing will recover.

A sudden hearing loss can happen to anyone; you do not have to have an underlying hearing loss or any other disease pathology. I always use this comparison: if you woke up in the morning and were blind in one eye, you would immediately head to the emergency room. It's a little harder with hearing loss: maybe it's just wax or maybe you think you are coming down with a cold or your allergies are bad. If this happens to you, get to an ENT right away. Ideally, treatment should occur within 48 hours of the incident.

There is not a lot of research on this since it is somewhat uncommon and since most people don't report it right away, it is difficult to determine the cause. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office for more information.

To mask or not to mask?
Due to updated CDC guidance, we are resuming mask wearing in the office and ask that you do also, even if you are fully vaccinated. The Delta variant is proving to be much more contagious and we need to protect one another.