Valentine's Day Edition E-Newsletter
Many scientific studies have confirmed the negative impacts associated with hearing loss: depression, anxiety and social isolation. There are positive impacts associated with hearing solutions, as well. A study conducted by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) supplies overwhelming data about how much of a difference hearing devices can make.1

The study surveyed more than 2,000 hearing loss patients who use devices to enhance the sense of sound. Of the sample group, 82 percent of patients indicated they would recommend hearing devices to their friends, and 70 percent reported an improved ability to communicate. The data also shows more than four out of five people who use a device to hear better are satisfied with their solution.

“This survey clearly reveals how dramatically people’s lives can improve with the use of hearing devices,” BHI Executive Director Sergei Kochkin, PhD said. "In this comprehensive study of more than 2,000 hearing device users we looked at 14 specific quality-of-life issues and found today’s hearing devices are a tremendous asset to people with even mild hearing loss who want to remain active and socially engaged throughout their lives.”

The study also concluded up to a third of patients saw improvements in their romance, sense of humor, mental, emotional and physical health. Further, roughly 40 percent noted improvements in their sense of safety, self-confidence, feelings about self, sense of independence and work relationships.

These results are the most significant of their kind because they show a clear potential solution to many of the draining feelings patients with hearing loss suffer. Many of the positive responses are attributed to changing technology that has led to smaller and less visible hearing devices, resulting in a decrease in the societal stigma associated with
wearing devices in day-to-day life. New devices are more intelligent and offer many improvements over older generation models.

BHI’s Kochkin believes the first step to preserving your future enjoyment in life is to make an appointment with a hearing health professional and get your hearing checked.

1 Better Hearing Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved from:
Customer_satisfaction_hearing_aids_pr08292011.cfm. Quoted in BHI Survey: Hearing
Aids Help Majority of Users to Regain Quality of Life via the Hearing Review. (2011).
Retrieved from:
Many of us have been spending days and weeks at home during the pandemic, with no real end in sight. Those with hearing loss can stave off boredom while sharpening their hearing and listening skills with the following exercises.
Exercise #1: Filter noise at home.

Sound filtering involves focusing on the essential while filtering out unnecessary background noise. This allows you to follow conversations more easily in noisy, crowded settings such as restaurants. To do this exercise, call a friend and prepare several sources of noise: music, TV, a laptop computer. Begin a conversation with your friend and turn on one of the devices. Practice focusing on their words rather than the competing distraction; after you’re comfortable listening and speaking, turn on another device. Repeat until you can focus your attention on the conversation.

Exercise #2: Identify and locate sounds.

Many people with impaired hearing have difficulty because they are unable to locate the source of a sound. To become better at this, go someplace where it’s noisy, such as a walk along a busy road. Find a comfortable spot to sit, close your eyes, and try to focus on specific sounds to determine the source of the noise. You might listen for a talking child or shoes clicking by. If you’re having trouble, ask yourself questions such as, how big is the object making the noise? How does it make me feel? These mental exercises will help you figure out where sounds are coming from and improve your mental focus.

Exercise #3: Brain games.

A sharp, clear mind improves all your senses—not just your hearing. Mental exercises can help you learn to distinguish sounds better. There are endless choices; look for logic games, crossword and jigsaw puzzles, memory games, chess or Scrabble. Or concentrate on a specific activity, such as drawing a picture. The more you work out your brain, the better your hearing will be.
If you are suffering from hearing loss, you’re not alone. While an estimated 48 million American adults experience some degree of hearing loss, those closest to you—your immediate family—are affected even if they don’t share your hearing impairment. Your spouse, in particular, may have a difficult time dealing with your hearing loss.

Many spouses complain of a lack of communication. They resent having to repeat themselves and adopt strategies such as positioning themselves in front of their husbands or wives when speaking, encouraging lip reading and relying on handwritten notes.

The big effect is on everyday activities, mainly television and telephone use. Spouses must deal with increased volume when the TV is on, making it uncomfortable for them to watch television in the same room. They also tend to be the ones to answer and make all telephone calls. There is also a reduction in social activities, with the deaf or hard of hearing partner more likely to want to stay at home rather than venture out and put him or her in a potentially uncomfortable situation.

Naturally, these factors lead to resentment and put a strain on the marriage. Increased tension often leads to a lack of intimacy, causing serious damage to the relationship.

If you are hearing impaired and married, there are steps you can take to improve your relationship with your spouse and ease his or her burden. If you own hearing devices, use them—and if you don’t, speak with your audiologist to see if they will help. There is a direct correlation between hearing device use and relationship satisfaction.

Of equal importance: accept your condition rather than wallowing in self-pity or despair. Nobody wants to have difficulty hearing but dealing with it in a positive manner can go a long way toward maintaining a solid marriage. When you accept your impairment, your spouse is more willing to help and it’s easier for both of you to adapt to the situation.