If you begin to google “new year’s resolution to…” the top 5 suggestions will be:
- lose weight
- get a boyfriend
- be happy
By this measure, it would seem that health and relationships are most on our minds during the turn of the year. That’s no surprise given the deluge of holiday sweets and family togetherness. Even if we only get to see some of our family once or twice a year, it is the quality of those visits that sustain us throughout the seasons.
If there is one sure way to get the most from this special time, it is to prioritize our health and the health of our loved ones. By being able to contribute in conversations and activities, we are active participants rather than sideline observers. Our health allows us to participate in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving or enjoy the school pageant at Christmas.
Sharing experiences is what keeps us bonded and connected to one another. But sometimes we are not able to do this fully, and we don’t even realize it—when hearing loss creeps in slowly and gradually, we can be tricked into thinking it is less than what it is, or that it is something else entirely. Oftentimes a loved one notices first. Maybe the person suffering from untreated hearing loss isn’t able to communicate as well and has started to become isolated. Or that person thinks maybe their mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be, and is too embarrassed to seek help. But the problem—and solution—may be much simpler than that.
Hearing technology has transformed over the years. You may have heard stories in the past of hearing aids that just ended up in a drawer because they were too difficult to use or didn’t do any good. Now we have hearing aids that are sleek in design, easy to use, and work with one’s brain to orient and separate sounds. Many of the patients we see are astounded at what they can hear again. One recently said, “Did you know that hummingbird wings make sound?!” What a treasure to hear birds’ wings for the first time!
It is in our nature to want to share joy with those we love. Through a funny story or a warm talk, we can enrich our lives every day. When someone treats their hearing loss, they are able to share those connections again. Encouraging our loved ones to stay connected helps not just them, but everyone around them. Communication becomes easier, moods are lighter, and the joy is truly shared, not stunted.
For their sake and ours, we fight for our loved ones and their quality of life. We refuse to let them fade into becoming a sideline observer whenever we can help it. We understand that communication and participation means a stronger, happier life for the whole family. To ensure loved ones get the most from their hearing, seek out a hearing healthcare practitioner that provides quality leading brands of hearing instruments, personal consultations, and a range of options and styles to meet your individual hearing needs and lifestyle. Your practitioner should treat you and your family like their own family—with warmth and respect.