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How Covid-19 Affects Those with Hearing Loss


How Covid-19 Affects Those with Hearing Loss

During this pandemic, everyone’s day to day habits have needed to change.  We are all affected by the mandatory isolation and social distancing. It’s a struggle to be social without seeing anyone, be active without going near anyone, and keep your mental health in check. For those with hearing loss, adding masks, which blocks important lip-reading cues, communicating from a distance, and difficulty hearing the TV or loved ones on the phone, can make day to day life even more challenging and frustrating. If your hearing aid breaks during these times, all hearing clinics have closed. However, if your hearing aid needs repair, I may be able to walk you through a repair over the phone.

During this lock-down, I’m reminded of patients who experienced social isolation for years before discovering hearing aids as a simple solution to be part of the conversation again.  Many with hearing loss slowly shy away from social gatherings because listening and communicating in these environments becomes too challenging. It’s easier just to stay home rather than attempting to follow a conversation you can only hear half of.  I’m finding my own mental health suffering and I have only been isolated for the past few weeks, let alone the past few years.  I reach out to you, to those experiencing social isolation due to hearing loss, to come in to see us once we re-open and borrow a pair to try at home. Go to a restaurant or coffee shop and experience the ease of hearing in the presence of background noise. If you have a recent copy of an audiogram, in some cases, I may be able to fit your hearing aids remotely for the short term until we are able to see you in office again.  Untreated hearing loss is linked to depression, social isolation, and cognitive decline.  The good news is, this can be treated with hearing aids. In multiple studies conducted, they concluded that hearing aid users reported significant improvements in many areas of their lives, ranging from their relationships at home, sense of independence, social life, and even their sex life. In virtually every dimension measured, even the families of hearing aid users noticed improvement.  Describing the experience as if, “the light went on.” They were even more likely than the hearing aid wearers to report improvements. You don’t know what you missed if you didn’t hear it. If you wish to discuss how hearing aids can benefit you or a loved one in your life, please send me a text, email, or call me. I am still open remotely for any questions you may have, or to help you repair a hearing aid. or 905-929-HEAR (4327)

By Leila Hess B.H.Sc., H.I.S.

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