Yes, I’m shouting. Can you hear me? I keep getting asked why I’m still seeing patients (currently only for urgent issues). If you can hear them, you are likely sick of TV and radio ads saying “in these uncertain times . . . ,” but one thing I’m certain about is that hearing is essential. In fact, Harvard Medical School once posted a blog titled “Good hearing essential to physical and emotional well-being”. It states that good hearing helps with “social interaction, family connection, and workplace productivity,” while “hearing loss is associated with earlier onset of dementia, earlier mortality, and six times the rate of falls compared to those with normal hearing.”—Charlotte S. Yeh, M.D.
While it may be true that people often wait seven to ten years to do something about their hearing loss, once they are properly fit with hearing aids that have been customized for their needs and have a few weeks to adjust to hearing again, they don’t want to be without them. However, hearing aids, being electronic body-worn devices, do need routine maintenance and occasional repair. I am doing curbside servicing to keep people hearing as well as possible, and also have a few loaner devices available.
To properly fit hearing aids requires a complete and accurate hearing evaluation and the use of real-ear measurement during programming (per the American Academy of Audiology’s best practice guidelines). Unlike many offices, we always use real-ear measurement. It involves placing a very thin probe microphone tube in the ear canals to measure soft, medium and loud sound through the hearing aids while adjusting settings until speech audibility is maximized. As you can imagine, this takes time and requires me to get close to you. Although Sound Care Audiology uses strict infection control, for everyone’s safety we’re trying to postpone close contact. So, maybe waiting another month would be best if you’re new to the world of hearing aids.
Real-ear measurement in progress
Real-ear measurement display
In the meantime, don’t let physical distancing stop you from working toward improved social interaction! Check out our Hearing Aid Personal Preferences Questionnaire and the hearing aids we carry page and follow the links to visit the manufacturer websites. Decide what’s important to you. Call or e-mail us with questions. Schedule a hearing evaluation for a few weeks out. Read our previous blog post on tips for better communication to help get you through this temporary pause in our normal activities.