I think everyone second guesses themselves one time or another. I know I do... oh geez...did I just put that in print?!! Lol! WE ALL DO! It is human nature to reach out to others to get opinions. It is also important to remember that we are in charge of OUR OWN ACTIONS and decisions.

Stop second guessing your decisions on what you do to make yourself happy and how you spend your money. NOBODY and I mean NOBODY understands and feels about your own personal needs more than you can. It simply isn’t possible. People mean well. Friends mean well.... CHILDREN mean well... but they are not in your shoes and they are not living your life.

This last week has been an interesting one. I had four...yes FOUR different patients who literally went through great grief and anxiety because they were told by various people in their lives that they heard “just fine” and they didn’t need hearing instruments. WOW. Just WOW.

Unless those well meaning individuals accompany you to your hearing evaluation AND your results reveal normal hearing .... then you were most assuredly correct in seeking help with your communication difficulties. You have a brain. A good one. Your hearing is directly related to the health and cognitive function of your brain. If you are unable to carry on a conversation in noise or the noise seems to be the dominant signal... there is more than likely some degree of high frequency hearing loss that needs to be corrected.... for the health of your brain. The sooner a hearing loss is corrected the easier it is for the brain to adapt to the stimulation of all those hearing hair cells that you have not used properly in a while. It is a process. Most people will have a hearing loss for about 7 years before they seek a hearing consult. Many will wait another 3-4 years before doing anything about it. Throw in kids or friends that think you hear “just fine” and the struggle gets harder. They put doubt in your mind that you were having difficulties. It is unfortunate.

We go through a very thorough and in-depth consultation and evaluation. Self evaluation questionnaire’s are used to determine the amount of difficulty you perceive you are having... and in what type of environments. They are very accurate. Again... only you really know how difficult your life is because of hearing that is not as good as it should be. Not your friends, spouse or your kids.

I had one patient whose kids told them they didn’t need to replace their hearing aids after they lost them... They don’t live here. They have no relatives here. They didn’t understand why their kids didn’t want them to get new.... HMMM.... Luckily they let me call the son.... She was 92.... I got...”can’t she get by?” WOW. I tried to educate... pretty sure they were just waiting on an inheritance. SAD to SAY!!

Her brain is kicking just fine. She chose to ignore her kids and their uneducated state and get new hearing aids for the ones she had lost. Another patient decided to call their adult child to let them know to expect a debit from the account as they help them with their accounts and they were told they “hear fine on the phone..what do you need a hearing aid for?“. SIGH! Phones are amplified. (I have SO MANY stories like these. TOO MANY... Way too many in the same week.

Just because you are in your seventies, eighties or even nineties... doesn’t mean your decisions are not sound. If you think you are not hearing as well as you should be then you are probably right on target. Trust in yourself. Improve your hearing and keep your brain healthy.

Did you know that Hearing Loss contributes to falling? Just having a slight or mild hearing loss TRIPLES the risk of an accidental fall. This risk increases by 140 percent for every 10 decibels of hearing loss. DO YOU HAVE A HEARING PROBLEM?? Trust your own gut and make your own decisions! Get checked out today. To Hear Better Is To Live Better!!

Roseann B. Kiefer, B.A., BC-HIS, is owner of Lampe and Kiefer Hearing Aid Center, Sebring. This information is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure your condition. Always talk to your doctor before following any medical advice or starting a diet or exercise program.