Better Hearing & Speech Month is a perfect time to raise public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the various forms of communication impairments -- that includes hearing, speech, language, and voice. Communication impairments affect the most vulnerable in our society: the young, the aged, the disabled, and the poor.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that approximately 15 per cent (26 million) of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high-frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds, noise at work or in leisure activities. Similar numbers have been reported in Canada by Statistics Canada.
Connect Hearing has always believed that helping the public understand issues surrounding hearing loss is one of the best ways to combat the problem.
As part of Better Hearing & Speech Month, we at Connect Hearing decided to ask a question -- is it a good idea to take part in a hearing aid trial?
First of all, let’s explain a hearing aid trial. At Connect Hearing a hearing aid trial is a period of time (usually 2-weeks) during which a person may try hearing aids that were custom made for them. If dissatisfied for any reason, the person can return the hearing aids for a full refund.
Connect Hearing Director of Professional Practice M.J. DeSousa says that while a hearing aid trial isn’t for everyone, there are several benefits for those who participate.
“Besides being a financially sound option, one of the biggest benefits to taking part in a trial is that you tend to get very good care and an extremely detailed, thoughtful analysis of your hearing health,” DeSousa says. "When you’re finished the trial you should have a very good idea of the state of your hearing and have a much broader understanding about hearing aids and what your best options are to ensure you stay connected to the sounds you love.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO),hearing loss may be inherited, caused by maternal rubella or complications at birth, certain infectious diseases such as meningitis, chronic ear infections, use of ototoxic drugs, exposure to excessive noise and aging. The WHO says over 360 million people worldwide have debilitating hearing loss.
While the WHO report is alarming, DeSousa notes that the data the organization presents forms a good reason for you to consider joining a hearing aids trial. She adds that Connect Hearing can also consult with individuals to determine if a trial is best for them.
“The other wonderful reason for taking part in a hearing aids trial is that in a sense you’re making the world better for others," DeSousa says. "By allowing technicians, audiologists and medical professionals to better understand what works and what doesn’t, your trial and the outcomes of it will help in the fight against hearing loss.”