May is hearing month

Helen Keller once made the comment that of the two sensory deprivations she experienced, she believed she missed her hearing the most. Her triumph over the isolation of being both deaf and blind was extraordinary; she authored 12 books and became a spokesperson, a political activist, and an advocate for the disadvantaged. Helen Keller was a most exceptional person, whose journey was inspired and aided by someone who knew the importance of communication and staying connected with the world, her teacher, Anne Sullivan.

Without help, very often the response to hearing loss is withdrawal. While hearing loss isn’t restricted to seniors, and it isn't simply aging that causes hearing loss, it is recognized that much hearing loss is age-related. As the medical community works to understand all the repercussions of untreated hearing loss, the link to memory loss and dementia has been gaining attention. The question is being asked, whether or not cognitive decline associated with dementia can be positively affected by ensuring that consistent and meaningful auditory stimulation occurs.

It makes sense and has been proven that through the use of hearing aids, seniors are more likely to enjoy a better quality of life. Hearing aid wearers are better able to understand speech and follow conversations in both quiet and noisy settings. It also means that they can get more benefit from technology such as cell phones, computers, televisions and stereos. For many, treating hearing loss means preserving independence, as better hearing means being more aware of one's surroundings and being more alert to situations that may be unsafe.

In addition, the use of hearing aids can bring more than better safety and improved hearing. Hearing aid wearers receive other health benefits too. Studies show that stress levels are reduced. Also, compared to when they struggled to cope with hearing loss unaided, new hearing aid wearers often feel less fatigue and use less energy to navigate through everyday situations. The month of May is dedicated to the awareness of better hearing. If you or someone you know is disengaging because of a possible hearing loss, book or recommend an appointment for a hearing test. They are easy and painless.

You can make an appointment for a hearing test at any of our Beltone Hearing Care Centre locations on Vancouver Island and in Powell River. Hearing tests at Beltone Hearing Care Centre are free with a doctor’s referral, so make an appointment to see your family doctor and ask for a hearing test referral. We have locations in Campbell River, Comox and Powell River, as well as Port Alberni, Parksville, Nanaimo, Duncan, Victoria and Sidney.