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Published Thursday, May 19, 2016

Better Hearing Month: Tips for Dealing with Hearing Loss

Dr. Joan McCormack of Atlantic Hearing Care in Peabody

When a family member has hearing loss, the whole family has hearing loss. And since everyone is impacted, everyone in the family will benefit when effective treatment is sought. That’s a tip from Dr. Joan McCormack, an audiologist at Atlantic Hearing Care.

Chances are good that hearing loss will affect you or someone you love – perhaps it already has. According to the Better Hearing Institute, hearing loss affects 3 in 10 people over age 60 and 1 in 6 baby boomers. Because hearing loss occurs gradually, others may notice the problem first. Most people really don’t understand how struggling to hear impacts everyone around them. The joy of family time and get-togethers with old friends can be reduced as ambient noise makes it harder to follow the conversation, and sometimes others may avoid initiating a discussion to adjust for the situation.

Signs of hearing loss can include a blaring TV, lots of requests to repeat yourself at restaurants and complaints that people are mumbling. The good news is that hearing aids or other assistive devices for the phone or TV can make life much easier. Advances in digital technology make hearing aids work better, adapt faster and feel more comfortable than ever before. Visit Atlantic Hearing Care’s website for more details at atlantichearingcare.com. There’s a great quiz on the website that you’ll likely find helpful.

The first step to better hearing is to have a hearing evaluation. Dr. McCormack offers the following tips to encourage your loved one to seek help:

Create an awareness of the hearing problem. By not saying anything you reinforce the perception that the person is “getting by”. Gently and privately draw their attention to when something was missed or misunderstood. Show him or her how their untreated hearing loss negatively affects relationships with their loved ones.

Advances in technology are creating opportunities for more people to get benefit from hearing aids. Even if they have been unsuccessful with hearing aids in the past or especially if they have aids that aren’t being used it is helpful to have a consultation.

We offer expert adjustment and repair of existing devices.

Accompany your loved one to the appointment. Listening to a familiar voice while demonstrating hearing aids immediately reinforces the benefit.

Atlantic Hearing Care provides a free no obligation two-week trial with hearing aids so you or your loved one can try them at home, at work and with your friends. The initial consultation is free, insurance may cover some services and financing is available.

Call 978-717-5370 for an appointment in Peabody or 781-581-1500 for Swampscott.

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