Help family and friends hear the cheer this holiday season
(BPT) - The holiday season is all about making memories and spending quality time with family and friends. But the 44 million people in the U.S. living with untreated hearing loss may be struggling more than they realize to connect with loved ones and make those precious moments count. Bring more joy to your holiday season by helping your loved one take control of their hearing.
Risks and risk factors for hearing loss
Age is the biggest risk factor for hearing loss, which affects about a third of people over 65 and nearly half of people over 70. Fatigue, frustration and loss of confidence associated with mild to moderate hearing loss causes people to withdraw from the people and things they love, increasing their risk for cognitive, mental and physical decline.
Signs of hearing loss
The average person waits seven years from the time they notice hearing loss to get hearing aids, and many don't realize their hearing has been deteriorating for years. Common signs of hearing loss include:
- Keeping the radio or television at an uncomfortably high volume.
- Regularly asking people to talk slower or louder, or requesting they repeat themselves.
- Struggling to hear in noisy environments like restaurants, parties, or places with background noise.
- Getting easily fatigued from social activities or avoiding them altogether.
- Trouble keeping up with conversations or making misplaced comments during a conversation.
How to help someone you love with hearing loss
Hearing loss can be a source of stress for the whole family. Breakdowns in communication can lead to tension in the household that affects all family members and relationships. Plus, individuals living with hearing loss often experience a wide range of emotions, sometimes demonstrating patterns of grief.
You don't have to let hearing loss interfere with your holiday season; instead, you can help your loved ones manage the holidays with ease by:
- Creating a comfortable environment. People with mild to moderate hearing loss often can't easily distinguish between conversation and background noise. Help them have quality conversations by giving them a quiet space to talk to family and friends without TV, music or excessive background chatter. If they seem tired or overwhelmed, remind them to take a break outside or in a separate room where they can rest their ears.
- Noticing obvious signs of hearing loss. If someone you love is showing signs of hearing loss, help them take a free 3-minute hearing test online at lexiehearing.com to assess if they might have trouble with hearing / have hearing loss.
- Encouraging them to try a hearing aid. If an online hearing test indicates mild to moderate hearing loss, give over-the-counter hearing aids a try. Quality brands like Lexie Hearing sell them in pairs at pharmacies and big-box stores nationwide, as well as online at lexiehearing.com.
- If a hearing test reveals severe hearing loss, make an appointment to see a hearing health care professional.
Choosing the right hearing aids will give you a personalized experience, restoring confidence in most situations. Most over-the-counter models come at a much lower cost than traditional hearing aids, but among OTC options, quality and features vary. Here are some tips for choosing the right over-the-counter hearing aids to ensure you get the best benefit:
Be sure to get a model that meets FDA standards. Look for product descriptions that say FDA-cleared to ensure you are getting a good quality product.
Hearing aid support.
Transitioning to hearing aids takes time and support. Choose a hearing platform with great hearing aid support so you can be confident you'll have help acclimating to your new hearing aids when you need it. Lexie hearing aids come with Lexie Care, giving wearers access to highly trained support services available seven days a week to ensure they have a great hearing experience. Lexie also offers incentives for hearing aid wear to help wearers more fully acclimate to their new devices.
Hearing aids that pair with a mobile app give you more control over your hearing experience in any situation. Look for options with app-based controls that allow you to adjust your hearing experience for different environments and save preset customizations that fit your lifestyle.
Look for "Self-Fitting OTC Hearing Aids," an important designation for high-quality models so you can be confident in your choice of hearing aids. Self-fitting technology gives wearers more confidence by providing total control to customize their hearing wherever they are. If you use a smartphone, look for devices that provide the option to connect to it, as they provide more visual control than those with only physical buttons on the hearing aids themselves.
Generous return policies.
Look for brands that have generous return policies so you can confidently try them out in different settings. For example, Lexie offers a 45-day risk-free trial period for returns on all products to give customers enough time to properly adjust to their over-the-counter hearing aids. Lexie recommends wearers use new hearing aids for at least three weeks to adjust to better hearing.
Consider behind-the-ear designs. While in-ear designs more easily mask as earbuds, behind-the-ear styles are intentionally designed for comfortable, all-day wear, so you can get the most benefit from your hearing aids all day long.
This holiday, make the most of your time with family by helping your loved ones get back to better hearing so they can enjoy the moments that count.