Five Ways Hearing Care Professionals Can Support Newly Diagnosed Patients
Treating a newly diagnosed hearing loss patient can be a tricky process. For Hearing Care Professionals, no two fittings are ever the same. For patients, the plethora of information, senses and emotions that come with hearing loss can get overwhelming and exhausting. At Sonic, it is our mission to improve life through enhanced hearing. That’s why we are committed to working with our partners to make Everyday Sounds Better for every Sonic hearing aid wearer. And while each patient’s hearing needs are different, as a Hearing Care Professional, there are several ways you can be a valuable source of information, support and encouragement for those who are newly diagnosed. Here are five ways to get started:
1. Be informative. When patients are newly diagnosed with hearing loss, they’ll want to understand everything about their diagnosis. What caused my hearing loss? Will it progress? What can I expect now that I know my level of hearing loss? Which hearing aid should I use? How long is the adjustment period? These are frequently asked questions that merit personalized, comprehensive answers. Be a source of information and take the time to counsel patients as they learn to navigate the life changes that come with hearing loss. Provide them comfort and confidence — this can be especially helpful as they prepare to invest in hearing technology.
2. Provide options. Staying up to date with the latest advances in hearing instruments is one of the most integral facets to obtaining a product that will best suit your patients’ needs. As a Hearing Care Professional, you know that hearing loss is very individualized, considering both type and level of loss. Whether your patient has mild conductive hearing loss or severe sensorineural hearing loss, hearing instruments should always work like the human ear. Each of Sonic’s products are built to keep sound natural and enhance speech understanding in noise. Developed with sophisticated technology foundations like Speech Variable Processing and SoundDNA, patients have access to benefits like binaural processing, wireless connectivity and Tinnitus SoundSupport.
3. Give assurance. Perhaps one of the greatest comforts Hearing Care Professionals can provide newly diagnosed patients is the assurance that they are not alone. While it’s true that 1 in 3 Americans over the age of 65 experience some hearing loss, 1 in 10 of all Americans can have hearing loss in varying degrees. And it can occur at any age for any number of reasons. Any information, examples, support groups or opportunities for patients to connect with others that you can provide will help them feel empowered. Provide resources for your patients both in and outside your practice, so they can learn more and engage with the hearing loss community.
4. Encourage communication. Let your patients know they should always be vocal with friends, family and coworkers about their hearing loss — trying to hide it will only make things more difficult for every party involved. Communication is a two-way process, and each party involved has a role and responsibility to be expressive. Provide communication strategies that both the listener and the communicator can utilize in everyday conversation, such as listening with the eyes, not just the ears or verifying that messages in conversation were heard correctly.
5. Emphasize patience. Living with hearing loss is not easy, and adjusting to new hearing instruments can be exhausting! Patience is an incredibly valuable recommendation to give any individual living with hearing loss. By gradually committing to wearing hearing aids every day, the auditory fatigue many patients experience can decrease. It’s also vital to encourage patients to keep a sense of humor and go easy on themselves — getting used to any change in life will always take time.
Just as our partners value their patient relationships, at Sonic, it is our priority to be a valuable resource for our clinic partners. With a never-ending mission to improve life through enhanced hearing, we are always here for support — from fitting support to our hotline, E-learnings, trainings and more. If you’re looking to make Everyday Sounds Better for your patients, contact us today and hear how we can help!