Healthy hearing is vital in order to live a high quality life. And having your hearing examined as part of your overall regular health check is what is recommended by Julie Sutcliffe, Clinical Audiologist at Connect Hearing.
“Hearing loss is a very gradual process,” she said. “In the beginning it is no big problem, you just turn the TV up a little or you ask your question again.
“But soon people will feel like they are losing comprehension during conversations – they can still hear, just not understand precisely what is being said. This is especially the case in areas where noise levels are higher, such as restaurants.
“And that is when quality of life actually reduces. It becomes hard to follow conversations, or make phone calls and what was suppose to be an enjoyable situation suddenly becomes very stressful, and that’s when people can become socially isolated.
“As a hearing care provider, Connect Hearing wants people to incorporate regular hearing checks into their medical routine. You have your blood pressure checked and your teeth cleaned regularly – it should be the same with your hearing.”
An annual hearing assessment, especially for those aged over 55, is the best means available to prevent hearing loss becoming a burden. The sooner people seek help the better the outcome.
“With today’s technology, there is a wide range of options available and many avenues we can travel down in terms of hearing solutions,” Ms Sutcliffe said.
“There are a wealth of hearing aids available that will suit a client’s particular hearing loss and, most importantly, their lifestyle.”
Having an aid to fit the lifestyle is very important to ensure customer satisfaction.
“People who are very active want an aid that can support their lifestyle. For example, for people who are still in the workforce and are on the phone a lot, there is the technology out there that supports making numerous calls in a day, either using a handset or pairing your hearing aid to the phone system.”
The technology behind today’s hearing solutions is a long way from the stereotypical bulky and ineffective pieces from days gone by.
“There has been a stigma about hearing aids in the past,” she said. “The days of the banana sized, beige-colour units your grandmother used to wear and which whistled and didn’t work properly – they are gone.”
The technology can be cleverly compared to the computer industry.
“If you bought a computer four years ago and matched it against one from today, the current model would be smaller, sleeker and more powerful.
“It’s exactly the same thing with hearing aid technology.”
Hearing aids are now digital devices which filter out background noise, produce clearer sound and can block out wind. Often they are so small they can be inserted into the ear canal and are invisible. It is a discreet and very effective solution.