Encouraging Patients to Choose Healthy Hearing
Hearing. One of those things we take for granted, but has immeasurable value that each of us relies on every day. It brings people closer, helps us build relationships and allows us to embrace those particularly special moments in life. Unfortunately, it takes an average of seven years for patients to seek treatment for hearing loss, and – according to The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders – there are around 28 million people in the United States who are deaf or hard of hearing. What’s more, a recent report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine estimates that 67-80% of adults who may benefit from hearing aids do not use them.
As a hearing care professional (or even a concerned family member or friend), you’re probably wondering why. You know all the ways hearing instruments greatly improve overall health and quality of life for millions. You understand how the latest technologies seamlessly fit into a variety of lifestyles. So, why aren’t patients choosing to take advantage hearing healthcare devices and related services?
For starters, comfort is a major reason patients don’t wear, or are hesitant to use their hearing aids. From poorly fitted hearing aids to an inconveniently obtrusive size, many individuals aren’t aware of the discreet, sleek and comfortable instruments hearing health professionals offer today. In fact, there are a variety of small, modern and customizable hearing aids we offer at Sonic. And our EXPRESSfit Fitting Software lets you take care of hearing aid adjustments quickly and with remarkable accuracy the first time — while simultaneously minimizing the need for future adjustments.
Another obstacle patients face is cost. This is a very real issue for many, and sometimes it’s the hardest to detect. Many patients have a fear of imposing on family members for financial support; others have a tough sense of pride. These things can be difficult for anyone to juggle. However, even those who are offered a more financially resourceful alternative may think they’re sacrificing quality. But combining an exceptional piece of hearing technology with an approachable cost opens doors for thousands of patients to make their Everyday Sounds Better.
But there are some patients who have hearing instruments and don’t use them. The most common reason being that their hearing aids no longer meet their expectations for sound quality. As a hearing care provider, you already know that our hearing constantly evolves. But sometimes patients don’t pick up on these changes when using their hearing aids. So, when their investment isn’t working the way it should or they have to make pesky adjustments to accommodate listening environments, users can become frustrated, and even decide that wearing their hearing aids is no longer worth it. Fortunately, with features available in Enchant’s revolutionary SoundDNA platform, a variety of intelligent technologies are embedded within each device. This means sound is amplified, controlled and intelligently adjusted according to each of your patients’ individual hearing needs with SmartCompress technology. And with the SPiN (Speech in Noise) Management feature, conversation is highlighted while distracting noises are kept to a minimum.
Finally, and perhaps most important, people are embarrassed to wear hearing aids. Despite advances in hearing instrument aesthetics and technology, there is still a very real stigma associated with them — one that can be hard for people of all ages to get past. However, what most patients don’t know is just how strong and supportive the hearing loss community is, and how many resources they truly have. From hearing care professionals to local support groups, social media, friends and family, establishing and encouraging a strong support system with open and active communication will help your patients feel confident in their hearing health and most of all — safe.
The Hearing Loss Association of America stated accurately that, “Even though hearing loss is one of the most common disabilities, it is also one of the most misunderstood and underestimated disabilities. It’s been called the ‘invisible’ condition because it is not possible to ‘see’ hearing loss directly, only its effects upon behavior and communication.” And as a hearing care professional, you know exactly how the negative impact of untreated hearing loss affects more than just behavior and communication, but rather the entirety of your patients’ lives.
Educating, building awareness and providing never-ending support to your patients, friends and families are only a few ways you can ensure they thrive on their journey towards better hearing. And at Sonic, we are dedicated to providing you valuable support to ensure you can help your patients thrive and your practice excel. Contact us today to discover how we can encourage more patients to choose healthy hearing make Everyday Sounds Better, together.