Hear Better: Focus on Starting

Over a third of people over the age of 65 have hearing loss. 

And yet, 80% of people who need hearing aids don’t get them.


The short answer:  it’s complicated.

The long answer:  read the research studies here and here.

I am struck, though, by a recurring theme of indecision, feeling overwhelmed, and procrastinating.  This theme is reflected in comments such as: I am still undecided (31.3%); the idea of getting hearing aids and getting used to them is too overwhelming (13.8%);  I still intend to proceed with getting hearing aids (29%); and wearing them is too much fuss and bother (14.1%).  (People could choose multiple reasons for not proceeding with hearing aids, so the percentages in the studies add up to more than 100%). 

I  can relate.  I’ve had health issues (not hearing loss, though!) that I’ve procrastinated about.  I just didn’t know where to start.

The answer:  focus on starting. This is the primary message in the book, The Now Habit. The author,  Dr. Neil Fiore,  is a psychologist who outlines strategies for people who procrastinate. 

I loved this message because it works.  In a nutshell, Dr. Fiore tells us to keep starting.   Think small.  Do not aim to finish—finishing will take care of itself.  And if you must worry, worry about starting.

To hear better, here are 7 suggested starting points:

1) Hearing test.  Start with an online version.  You can get that one out of the way right now!

2) Find a hearing care professional.  See here for tips on how to find one.

3) Start an auditory training program.

4) Learn how to lipread.

5) Join a consumer organization.

Hearing Loss Association of America has 200 chapters in the United States. 

Canadian Hard of Hearing Association has 53 branches, nine provincial chapters and two national networks. 

Canadian Hearing Society has 26 locations in Ontario. 

6) Adopt new communication strategies.  If you make a small change like admitting that you didn’t hear, and asking other people to slow down, you start down a whole new path.  The path is called:  taking responsibility for your hearing loss.  

7) Educate yourself.  Below are some suggested authors, websites and books. 

Another Boomer Blog

A Quiet World

Auricle Ink Publishers (Richard Carmen, Marshall Chasin, Richard Tyler)

Better Hearing Institute

Canadian Hard of Hearing Association

Deafened but not Silent 

Gael Hannan

Healthy Hearing.com

Hear Better in 60 Days:  Keys to Success with Hearing Aids (this one is mine)

Hearing Loss Association of America

Hearing Loss Web

Hearing Impaired.Net

Hearing Pages

International Federation of Hard of Hearing People

Michael Harvey

Mark Ross

Mayo Clinic

Neil Bauman

Sam Trychin


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