A real hearing test is done with an electronic machine called an audiometer. Before scheduling that kind of appointment, maybe you would like to take yourself or someone you love through a “symptoms” quiz. I am adapting and expanding the questions from the February 2014 edition of Consumer Reports. These questions are very important as you anticipate this year’s holiday season now just weeks away.
Does your hearing problem cause you to feel embarrassed when meeting new people? Are you unsure of yourself because you are unsure of what someone might be saying to you? Does a hearing problem cause you to feel frustrated when talking to members of your family? Frustrated because you ask family to repeat themselves and possibly their lack of patience as you struggle to hear? Time and time again I hear stories of family members telling the hearing impaired to get, wear, or turn up their hearing aids! Does a hearing problem cause you to have arguments with family members? Many times frustration over not hearing moves past banter into full blown conflict. Does a hearing problem cause you difficulty understanding co-workers, clients, or customers? Outside of family, the workplace is a vital place to understand. Our entire economic well being can feel threatened if we know we are not “cutting the mustard” or up to speed with our interpersonal relationship skills. Do you feel handicapped by a hearing problem? Sometimes it can be that simple. We can feel held back by our hearing loss. I have worn hearing aids now four years. Without them I know, not just feel, that I am out of step with life around me. Does a hearing problem cause you difficulty when visiting friends, relatives, or neighbors? Though the question sounds like it has already been asked, I am asking your thoughts beyond a disability to now a difficulty. Is your life harder with family, friends, and co-workers because of your hearing loss? Does a hearing problem cause you difficulty at the movies or the theater? Are you that person who is constantly asking the person next to you, “what did they say?” all the while having the dialogue of the movie keep moving forward, and missing new script as you asked about what you just missed. The same question applies to every media you use, TV, radio, computer based streaming, etc Do you feel that any difficulty with your hearing limits or hampers your personal or social life? Sometimes people with hearing loss just stop going places they loved to go. They may stop attending church, clubs, or other activities because they feel isolated, embarrassed and unable to catch everything that is being said.
These questions get right to the heart of your hearing needs. Ultimately it does not come down to electronic testing or amazing technology now available to the hearing impaired. It is a matter of honestly answering these simple questions to admit that it is time to take the step to hear better.
If you have the symptoms of hearing loss let a professional help you find out why. The hearing professional will help you sort out the models, technology level to meet your need, your budget, and answer your hearing need questions.