Hearing Loss and Emotional Wellbeing

Hearing difficulties are life-changing, but an aspect which isn’t readily discussed in the media is the impact on the emotional wellbeing of those affected.

  

Hearing loss affects around 3.6 million Australians, with 90% of those people aged over 50 years old. And with hearing loss affecting more Australian’s every year it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of emotional instability and how you can help your loved ones if they are suffering.

Keep reading to find out how and why hearing loss can affect emotional wellbeing.

Social isolation

It is important to note that symptoms of social isolation can appear well before a person is diagnosed with hearing loss. This is because hearing loss often occurs gradually, and those affected can be unsure about what is happening. The first signs of hearing impacting emotional wellbeing is the individual’s withdrawal from friends, family and the community.

Hearing loss also exacerbates social isolation due to difficulty communicating with others. When this happens, the individual can rely more heavily on visual cues and can also struggle to keep up and give context to conversations. This ongoing difficulty can then lead to issues such as stress, anxiety and fatigue. Furthermore, friends and family may not understand why their loved one has distanced themselves.

Increase in depression

Over time, social isolation and anxiety from hearing loss can lead to depression. This is because when someone needs to work hard to understand others, it can cause them to give up the interests and activities they once enjoyed. Others may even feel misunderstood by their loved ones. In addition, the individual may experience sadness about the loss of hearing which in turn also affects their mental health. Some people with hearing difficulties are proactive in finding ways to communicate, while others can become withdrawn.

In 2007, Australian Hearing released a national telephone survey conducted by Newspoll with 2,401 adults who suffered from hearing impairment. The survey found 60% of Australians with hearing loss displayed symptoms associated with depression. Three of the main symptoms were highlighted including increased irritability and frustration  (52%), difficulty sleeping 22%, and a loss of interest in most activities (18%).

Will hearing aids help?

The good news is that there is continual research which proves that hearing aids can reduce the emotional consequences of hearing loss. This means people who wear hearing aids have improved emotional wellbeing and are less affected by depression.

Need help finding the right hearing aid or need your hearing checked? Contact us today.

If you or any of your loved ones are experiencing signs or symptoms of depression you can contact Beyond Blue here.

Why You Should Choose an Independent Hearing Specialist

When it comes to hearing, you want to make sure you’re placing one of your most valuable senses in capable hands. At Health and Hearing, we’re passionate about providing our customers with the best possible services, with a focus on personalised recommendations.

There are a number of services that an independent hearing specialist can provide you with, that a retail chain hearing clinic cannot. Read on to find out what they are!

1. Industry professional, not a salesperson

Many hearing clinics are owned by hearing aid manufacturers or large global retail chains. This means that when you walk in to talk to someone about a hearing aid suitable for you, you’re talking to a sales assistant rather than a qualified professional. An independent hearing specialist will book in appointments to ensure that every customer receives professional and experienced advice.

At Health and Hearing, we offer free 30 minute consultations where our team of professionals walk you through your options, answer any questions you have and assist you in trying on a range of hearing aids to find the best fit.

2. They won’t try to push an unsuitable brand

Many hearing clinics are partnered with particular brands and are therefore restricted in the variety of options they can provide you with. An independent audiometrist does not have allegiance to just one brand, and won’t try to push it on you if it’s unsuitable for your needs.

At Health and Hearing, we offer a wide range of brands and types of hearing aids so that we can assist you in finding the perfect fit, without any bias or ulterior sales motives!

3. They consider all factors

An independent audiometrist will take the time to ask questions and gage the kind of lifestyle you lead, to present you with a selection of suitable hearing aids. At Health and Hearing, we take into consideration:

  • The degree of your hearing loss
  • Your lifestyle (whether you engage in sports or active pursuits)
  • Whether you are employed or retired
  • Your preferences (hidden or slightly visible)
  • Affordability and budget
  • Comfort

4. A range of available rebates

An independent hearing specialist can offer you a range of payment plans and rebates that large-scale companies will not. At Health and Hearing, we work closely with the Defence Force to ensure that veterans receive a fair rebate on quality hearing aids, and our aging population have access to free hearing aids with their Pension Cards.

In consultation with your health insurer and tax agent, you may be eligible for a rebate. Likewise, those already serving with the Defence Force may be able to have the cost of their hearing aids completely covered. For more information, get in touch with us today!

5. There’s a 14 day cooling off period

As part of an independent hearing specialist’s personalised services, they’re more likely to offer a good faith cooling off period for your hearing aids. This means that you get the opportunity to trial them in your day to day life to ensure they work for you. Health and Hearing offer a 14 day ‘love it, or we take it back’ guarantee.

We encourage our customers to take their hearing aids home, go see a movie, attend a dinner party, do exercise and generally throw every element of your lifestyle at them to see if they fit the bill! If you’re not 100% happy, we’ll do everything we can to re-calibrate your hearing aids to suit your specific needs or find a better option.

6. Ongoing support

An independent audiometrist isn’t in the business of selling hearing aids and then leaving you to figure out the rest. Health and Hearing are only a phone call away! If you’re having issues with your hearing aids, we can remotely re-calibrate them for you. We also offer tune-up services and ongoing support for our customers. We want to make sure you’re always getting the most out of your hearing aids so that you can get the most out of life.

Contact Health and Hearing today for a consultation or a free hearing test!

The Future of Smart Hearing

Just as we once said goodbye to clunky Nokia bricks and hello to sleek, innovative smartphones - we’re saying goodbye to bulky, analogue hearing aids and hello to sexy, intuitive digital hearing aids.

The future of smart hearing is here and we’re so excited to be part of it!

Modern, digital hearing aids are nothing like their predecessors; they have an amazing amount of powerful features. Here are just a few:

  • Directional microphones - eliminating the struggle to hear in noisy places.
  • Smart hearing - detecting the differences between speech and background noises.
  • Connectivity to smart devices - seamlessly integrating with your life.
  • Efficient programming - adjusting to your needs and environmental changes.

Introducing ReSound Smart Hearing Aids

At Health and Hearing, we proudly fit ReSound hearing aids, and we are in love with the advanced technology packed into these micro-sized aids. ReSound smart hearing aids are about more than restoring lost hearing; they’re about integrating your hearing with your devices and lifestyle.

On top of the personalised, hands-on service we offer, ReSound has a number of apps that allow you to personally control and enjoy your hearing aids. Through the apps, you’re able to tailor and control your hearing experiences. You can download them via the Apple Store or Google Play (for free!). Of course, the apps aren’t limited to your smartphone - they’re also completely compatible across your smart watches, laptops, computers, tablets, smart TVs and more!

Wireless streaming technology

ReSound is far from being the only hearing aid company creating futuristic hearing solutions. Another style of hearing aids we supply - the Starkey SoundLens - is also leading this technological advancement. Their tiny, in-the-ear-canal hearing aid is custom-made and completely invisible in most ears. Starkey’s hearing aid is proof that good things come in tiny packages, as it offers advanced wireless streaming technology and music experience software. Experience sound the way it’s meant to be - pure.

Live life to the fullest!

There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to hearing. Our lives are so intertwined with all of our devices that allow us to live a better quality, more enjoyable life. We use our phones to connect with our friends and family, our TVs to enjoy shows and movies, our cameras to capture moments, and our headphones to enjoy music. Why wouldn’t we want to add hearing technology that allows us to experience the pleasure of optimum hearing to the mix?

Health and Hearing specialise in invisible hearing solutions and only supply high quality-performance technology. Contact us for more information, or book a free consultation today!

Hearing Loss and Balance

Hearing loss and balance are often taken for granted, but what if they were both taken away from you? Dealing with one health condition is stressful in itself, but when two occur at the same time, it can cause you to wonder if there is a connection. And if there is a connection, is there a solution? In this blog, we discuss the connection between hearing loss and balance, along with what you can do to achieve balance once again.

Although hearing loss alone doesn’t cause balance issues, there are a few situations in which balance can be adversely affected by hearing loss or changes within the inner ear.

Your eyes and ears work together

When understanding the connection between balance and hearing it is also important to be aware of the connection between your eyes and ears in terms of balance. Essentially, your eyes and ears work together to organise the environment around you. Together, these senses judge the distance between sight and sound (for example we can see lightning and count how far apart the strikes appear in the sky). Therefore if something is affecting your ear, your spacial awareness and balance could be off-kilter.

Hearing loss, the brain and balance

A study conducted by John Hopkins Medical Institution has prompted more research into the connection between the brain, hearing loss and balance. The study has shown you are more likely to experience falls and sensations of being off-balance if you have hearing loss. In fact, the study revealed a three-fold increase in fall incidents in people with mild hearing loss. Furthermore, the incident rate increased with every 10 decibels of hearing loss.

After drawing these results, researchers came to a variety of conclusions about why hearing loss was linked to loss of balance. Primarily, researchers explained that people with hearing loss are less aware of the environment, increasing their likeliness of being off-balance and therefore increasing their disposition to tripping.

Researchers also speculated that people with hearing loss experienced a cognitive overload. Meaning, hearing loss caused an increased need for the brain to work harder to hear. This demand in turn, lead to a decrease in comprehensive awareness forcing the brain to let one function slip, which in most cases was balance.

Solution

Fortunately, with the addition of hearing aids, the brain can focus less on trying to hear and more on understanding the surrounding environment. This means if you are experiencing balance issues and hearing loss, a hearing aid may allow you to achieve better overall balance.

Similarly, if you are unsure if you have hearing issues, but your lack of balance concerns you, it may be time to focus on your hearing. To gain insights on your hearing you can try our online hearing quiz.

If you would like to find out more information or you would like to book a free hearing test, contact Health and Hearing today.

Hearing Aids for Uni Students

For many students with hearing problems, university can feel like a scary and overwhelming endeavour. You might feel embarrassed, ashamed or worried about how you’re going to keep up with your coursework. Perhaps you’ve sat in lecture theatres and struggled to hear what your professor is saying. Or maybe you opt for online classes, instead of on-campus ones, because headphones are more comfortable than in-person conversations.

Whatever the case, we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way any longer! You don’t have to suffer in silence or replay powerpoints and videos on the weekend because you’re worried about missing important information.

Modern hearing aids are better than you think

Resound Linx

With ever-changing technology, hearing aids have become more discreet and smarter than ever. These days, you can sync your hearing aids with your smartphone, iPad or smartwatch. You can effortlessly tailor your hearing aids and fine-tune them to suit your preferences through powerful mobile apps. You can even stream shows on Netflix and cable TV direct to your hearing aids!

Excelling at your studies doesn’t have to be a 24/7 stress event. With modern hearing aids, you can confidently make the most of your university experience, hear your lecturers and tutors, and achieve the grades you really want.

Invisible technology for busy uni students

Do you feel discomfort or embarrassment when meeting new people because of your poor hearing?

We’re looking for people who have difficulty hearing in noisy environments to participate in a FREE 7 DAY TRIAL. As part of the trial, you will receive a free hearing test to determine if you have hearing loss. If you qualify for the program, you will receive a pair of new, virtually invisible, ReSound LiNX 3D hearing aids to try out for FREE, for seven days.

Resound Linx 

 

 

 

 

 

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The future of smart hearing

ReSound LiNX 3D hearing aids feature Bluetooth connectivity, remote fine-tuning and are available in a variety of styles and colours. They even automatically adapt their settings to your environment so you can enjoy rich, natural sounds, anywhere, anytime.

Because it’s not about getting old...it’s about staying young!

Sync your hearing aids with your smartphone, iPad or smartwatch.

✓ Effortlessly control and personalise your preferences through a powerful mobile app.

✓ Stream crystal-clear stereo sound from the television directly to your ears.

✓ Extend your listening range with wireless microphones and accessories.

If all that sounds too tricky, don’t worry! We provide 365-day aftercare support, regular tune-ups and maintenance. Our setup process is super simple, and we’re here to walk you through everything, step by step.

A better solution needn’t cost a fortune

CALL US TODAY ON 07 3366 9355 TO SECURE YOUR SPOT. PLACES ARE LIMITED!

 7 reasons why Health & Hearing is better

 We are local and independent

  1. 14-day love it or return it guarantee
  2. Invisible hearing solution specialists
  3. We take our time in our appointments
  4. Warm and friendly atmosphere
  5. Usually more affordable than our competitors
  6. FREE  hearing aids for pensioners and veterans*
    *Terms and conditions apply under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program

86% of Health & Hearing customers say our hearing aids are an 8/10 or better!*
*Data based on over 100 client satisfaction surveys.

“Off the shelf devices cannot compete with the results of Soren’s testing and advice, he thoroughly explains the options and provides the appropriate hearing solution at an economical price. The benefits of being able to participate with loved ones and interacting with others in everyday situations cannot be overstated, and I have no hesitation in recommending Health and Hearing.”
– Mr Neil Young, Health & Hearing client

 

Book a free hearing test (07) 3366 9355

Clinics in Ashgrove, Chermside, Carina, Kenmore

www.healthandhearing.com.au

Treating Tinnitus

In Australia, 18% of people live with a constant ringing, whistling, hissing or whooshing in their ears. This sensation is known as tinnitus and for those who have it, daily life can be a struggle. Tinnitus can be very painful, frustrating and unrelenting leading to feelings of anxiety and hopelessness in sufferers. While there is currently no cure for tinnitus there are ways to treat this condition to make it more manageable and reduce its severity.

If you have tinnitus we recommend speaking with an audiometrist who will begin by identifying the cause. This is an important step that will help to make sure the tinnitus is not caused by another treatable problem. If your audiologist finds that a hearing loss is present then it is likely a hearing aid will reduce the problem. In fact, for some people wearing hearing aids will completely alleviate the condition.

People suffering from tinnitus with no hearing loss can use a Therapeutic Noise Generator device to help cope. This device looks like a hearing aid and produces a blend of external sounds that stimulate fibres of the hearing nerve, helping deviate attention away from the tinnitus. When using this device, sufferers of tinnitus will receive a much-needed break from the debilitating sound inside their head.

If need be, your audiometrist may refer you to a clinical psychologist who offers Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to help alleviate the distress caused by tinnitus. In these sessions people learn to adapt to tinnitus by discovering ways to focus attention away from the condition and achieve control over stress, which can sometimes be a contributing factor.

Unfortunately, there is no specific surgical treatment that can cure tinnitus. However, where tinnitus is related to another ear problem, such as otosclerosis or middle ear effusion, successful surgical treatment may cause it to disappear. Furthermore, accurate diagnosis and treatment of Meniere’s disease may result in significantly reduced tinnitus.

Sadly there is no standard fix for tinnitus. If you’re very lucky it will disappear overtime but for most people this is not the case. Generally the sooner a sufferer seeks help, the better their chances of significant improvement. If tinnitus is something you are struggling with we suggest talking with an audiometrist to help manage the condition. Contact us today to book an appointment with Soren our head audiometrist.

What Is Hearing Loss?

What is hearing loss?

A common question we get asked is “what is hearing loss?” Hearing loss is a decreased sensitivity to sounds that you would normally hear.  It can occur with varying degrees of severity and can affect people of all ages. In fact it is actually very common with an estimated one in six Australian’s affected.

What Is Hearing Loss | Health & Hearing Blog | 1 in 6 suffer hearing loss | Audiology clinic | audiometrist | Brisbane

Hearing loss is often cause by aging or frequent exposure to loud noises for a long period of time. Mild age-related hearing loss often starts when a person is in their early forties. Hearing loss can also be acquired through illness, accident and exposure to certain drugs and chemicals.

There are three types of hearing loss. These are:

  • Conductive hearing loss. This can be caused by blockage or damage in the outer ear, middle ear or both.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss. As a result of damage to, or a malfunction of, the cochlea (the sensory part) or the hearing nerve (the neural part).
  • Mixed hearing loss.This can caused by both the conductive pathway (in the outer or middle ear) and in the nerve pathway (the inner ear).

When left untreated hearing loss can negatively affect people’s relationships with their friends and family. It can also lead to increased social isolation. Fortunately, treatments for hearing loss have made great strides in recent times. These include invisible hearing aids, which can be worn virtually undetected.

Always remember, you are not alone.

Hearing aids are an important solution for people with hearing loss. As far as hearing aids go the earlier they are fitted the better. If you believe you are suffering from hearing loss, review our symptoms of hearing loss blog. You can also contact us for a free hearing assessment.

Health and Hearing is a leading and individually owned audiology clinic with a team of highly trained professionals and audiometrist.

Hearing Loss Symptoms

Hearing Loss Symptoms | Health and Hearing | Brisbane QLD | Audiology Audiologist Audiometrist

 

Hearing loss can occur over a long period of time. This makes it hard for people to identify it in themselves. Usually friends or family members will be the first to notice a person’s diminished ability to hear. Early intervention is the best way to manage a hearing loss. If you experience any of the hearing loss symptoms below personally or recognise them in a loved one, we recommend chatting to a specialist.

Hearing loss symptoms may include:

• Difficulty understanding words, especially in a crowd of people or noisy places.
• Frequently asking people to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly.
• Listening to the television or radio at a louder volume that previously or at a louder volume than friends and family.
• Difficulty following conversations with more than two people.
• A ringing in one or both ears.
• Reading lips or watching people’s faces intently when they talk to you..

Hearing loss can also affect people emotionally. Communication is a big part of how human beings connect with one another. When people struggle to communicate it can lead to relationship breakdowns, social isolation and depression.

Emotional symptoms of hearing loss include:

• Feeling stressed out from straining to hear what others are saying.
• Becoming angry or annoyed because you can’t understand what a person is saying.
• Feeling embarrassed to speak with people in case you misunderstand them.
• Withdrawing for social situations you once enjoyed because of difficulty hearing.

Hearing loss is not something you have to put up with.

If you have any of the hearing loss symptoms make sure you get it treated as soon as possible to prevent it from becoming worse.

Health & Hearing offers free hearing assessments for Brisbane residents. Find a location near you.

Communicating With People Who Have Hearing Loss

People with full hearing sometimes struggle to understand how confusing, frustrating and alienating hearing loss can be. Even a person with hearing aids may still struggle to follow a conversation.

If somebody you love has hearing loss there are communication strategies you can employ to ensure they can clearly understand and contribute to the conversation.

Here are our hearing loss communication strategies:

Before you begin a conversation get the listener’s attention. If they are not looking directly at you a wave or polite tap on the arm should do the trick.

For people with hearing loss sight is a helpful factor in determining what is being said. So that they can see what you are saying position yourself to face them directly, in good light and on the same level. If they have better hearing in one ear, make sure you are closer to that side. Do not try to call out to the person from another room, as this will only cause confusion.

Speak clearly, slowly and naturally. Remember to enunciate your words, as it can be hard to make out what you are saying if you mumble. Keep you hands away from your face and avoid chewing gum or eating while talking.

Try to conduct the conversation in quite room as background noise can make it difficult to hear. Similarly if you are talking in a group take turns talking rather than speaking over the top of each other. This will help to avoid confusion. Pay attention, if the person with hearing loss does seem confused, it may be a sign you need to slow down and speak more clearly.

Remember, shouting and over-exaggerated facial expressions and mouth movements will not help the situation. These will only appear rude and lead to more confusion.

Finally, the best thing you can do is to take it slow. Make sure if the person you are communicating with has trouble hearing you they have a chance to say so. Communication goes both ways so if you approach the situation together it should work out for the best

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding hearing loss, hearing aids or a loved one’s hearing.

Signs A Loved One Has Hearing Loss

Loved one not hearing like they used to? You are not alone.

Hearing loss can occur over a long period of time, meaning it is highly unlikely somebody with undiagnosed hearing loss will notice they have a problem. Quite often, a person’s partner or a family member will be the first person to comment that something might be wrong.

If you suspect a loved one may be suffering from hearing loss, take a look at the below signs indicating it may be time to get their hearing checked.

1. Having to repeat yourself

“Sorry what?” and “would you mind repeating that?” are phrases that
indicate something may be amiss. Miscommunication is a common issue with people who have trouble hearing. If you often find yourself having to repeat what you have said it is likely your loved one is struggling to hear you because they have hearing loss

2. The TV or radio volume is very loud

If you often have to turn the TV or radio volume down because it is uncomfortably loud for yourself and other members of the family, they may have hearing loss.

3. Distance in social situations

With everybody talking at once it can be hard for people with hearing loss to keep up with a conversation. If your loved one, who was once very social and talkative, suddenly becomes withdrawn they probably have trouble hearing. People can often feel stressed and embarrassed when they can’t keep up with conversation and distance themselves from the situation. If you see this happening to your loved one, you should encourage them to get their hearing checked.

4. Confusion and frustration

Living with undiagnosed hearing loss is hard. It doesn’t just make sound quieter but can muffle conversations confusing the person with hearing loss. As they strain to understand what is being said they may become frustrated. After all developing hearing loss is a life-altering experience.

If your love one does become frustrated, try not to take it personally. Remember they’re not angry with you they are just dealing with the stress associated with hearing loss. If you recognise any of the above signs in your partner or family member the best thing you can do is gently suggest a hearing test. Remember people can feel embarrassed when confronted with hearing loss so it is best to approach the subject with care.

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