Hearing : Help for Hearing Loss

Nearly 20 percent of adults in the United States alone report some degree of hearing loss, and thousands of children experience hearing difficulties of some type, according to Jim Kasic, president and CEO of Sophono. “The good news is that, today, very good solutions and treatments exist for so many types of hearing loss. The key is to start by talking with a good audiologist or otolaryngologist (ear, noise and throat, or ENT, physician).”

1. Prepare. Individuals can prepare for their visits by writing down areas of concern, questions they wish to ask and examples of situations in which they experience difficulty in hearing. They also should bring along a full list of any medicines they are taking. Bringing paper and pen to the appointment will alleviate concerns about forgetting any information.

2. Be an active participant. Many people find it helpful to ask a friend or family member to accompany them to the appointment to help ask questions and remember/write down answers. Some people even bring the appropriate equipment to record the appointment for easy reference later. Once there, it is important for the person experiencing the hearing loss to be proactive and ask his or her prepared questions, along with the following. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association also offers more information on questions to ask an audiologist or ENT.

• What is the main problem?

• What steps do I need to take, and why is each important?

• What are my choices?

3. Ask about anything you do not understand. Patients should speak up and ask the physician or audiologist to explain any industry terms or phrases they do not understand. Treatments, medicines, equipment, hearing aids and other options can be confusing, so it can be helpful for the patient to reiterate what the provider has said to make sure they understand. Individuals also can find out how best to contact the provider with additional questions that arise later.

4. Follow up. After the initial appointment, individuals should review their notes, and if a family member or friend came to the appointment, review information with them to make sure they have the same understanding. Depending on the information shared in the appointment, patients can conduct their own research to learn more about their problem or possible treatment. Books, magazines and the Internet can be helpful. Many people find it beneficial to seek a second opinion with an audiologist or otolaryngologist.

5. Follow through. If the patient understands and agrees to the suggestions the professional has offered, it is important to follow through and act on these to see improvement.

For many people, springtime brings the joys of hearing birds singing and children playing. But for those experiencing hearing loss, the season can be less bright. “For individuals with severe hearing loss, more help than ever is available today,” says Kasic. “ENT physicians and audiologists have tremendous tools to help.”

Sophono, Inc. (http://www.sophono.com)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/4/prweb10663321.htm

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