Hearing loss affects so many of us. And it’s not just those who experience hearing loss directly. It’s family, friends, and everyone we interact with every day.
Last week I spoke a bit about my history, and how I decided to pursue a career as a doctor of Audiology. This week I’d like to share a bit more about my philosophy on hearing healthcare and another inspirational story of the change that can take place when someone decides to address their hearing loss.
People who experience hearing loss don’t often realize just how much it is impacting their lives. Because the change can happen over several years, people become accustomed to the sounds of the world around them. Or, I should say, they become accustomed to the lack of sounds.
At the same time, people who deal with hearing loss often isolate themselves – and it’s not always intentional.
They may not pay attention to conversations or people in the way they used to. They can’t understand what is being said.
They may only hear a piece here or there, or they may miss an entire conversation. To the people around them – family, friends, and others – this isolation can look like antisocial behavior when in reality, it’s not.
When a person who suffers from hearing loss visits our practice and takes that first step towards finding a solution, nothing brings me greater joy than knowing I can make a difference in their world. It can be a tough first step to take, and sometimes it’s even a little scary, but once a person is on the path to better hearing, it can be life-changing.
In all the year’s I’ve practiced audiology, I’ve had the opportunity to help so many people. I remember one patient, who happens to be my father-in-law. He is such a gregarious gentleman with a strong italian accent. When we spoke about his hearing, he admitted he had given up on participating in conversations.
Before hearing loss he always seemed like he was the life of the party, but when this became a challenge, he just didn’t engage with people much anymore.
He was missing out on a huge part of his life. With my gentle nudging, he decided to treat his hearing with us at Centers for Hearing Care, which included a comprehensive treatment plan like we do with all of our patients. Not long after his first hearing aid fitting, he proclaimed “I feel like myself again!” He went on to say that he hadn’t realized just how much of his “authentic” self he had lost. Now that he could hear again, he reported feeling blissfully normal.
I hear stories like this all the time.
People want to live life to the fullest and are not content to stand on the sidelines, watching it pass them by.
When you can no longer hear as you used to, it can feel just like that. I became an audiologist to help people get that part of their lives back, and not just for themselves, but for their family and friends.
Because when it comes to hearing loss, we’re all in this together.
Dr. Sheryl Figliano