Some hearing loss is inevitable with age but it can also be caused by many other factors throughout one's life such as listening to music too loud, occupational exposure to dangerous levels of noise, and various medical conditions, including some viruses. I’ll be honest. I love my wife, but I may have used selective hearing in my marriage from time to time. While most of the time my wife just brushes it off as me ignoring her, she’s mentioned a couple of times that she thinks I may actually have a hearing problem.
Hearing Loss is More Common Than You Think
While marital selective hearing may sound funny, hearing loss is no laughing matter. In fact, 48 million people in the United States do suffer from hearing loss. Despite the fact that new, modern technology is available to help people, it’s astonishing that only 22% of those people have actually tried hearing aids. There’s definitely still a stigma and fear around looking “old” and a lot of people think that hearing aids don’t really work. But I’ve discovered those are both very outdated views.
When a representative from hear.com approached me and wanted to explain their technology and help me learn more about why hearing loss is such an important men's health topic, I was excited to learn more.
It’s not a surprise that hearing loss can wreak havoc on relationships, both personally and professionally. There are many men who either don’t hear what their partners have asked or worse, have adapted to “guessing” what was said and miss the specific details. Unfortunately, this can result in simple mistakes such as hearing that someone has a “rash,” when you were actually being asked to take out the “trash.” This specific situation may sound comical, but others can be dangerous and can even affect people’s perception of you. Ultimately, untreated hearing loss can result in failing relationships, social isolation, lost wages, depression and even cognitive decline.
I was shocked to learn that In the United States, hearing loss is the 3rd most common health problem. But the good news is we live in an age where there are solutions that provide those with hearing loss the opportunity to regain their quality of life and protect the hearing they have left.
Here are the four most important things I want other men to know about hearing aids.
Work Only With Top Hearing Care Professionals
I found that working with a company like hear.com enabled me to feel taken care of through the entire process. Hear.com is a hearing care pioneer that’s developing new technologies and making cutting-edge hearing aids accessible to people all over the world to help people live their best lives.
My first step was to complete a simple questionnaire on their website and talk to a hearing aid expert. They got me set up with one of their top partner providers to test my hearing and fit me with hearing aids if needed. I was able to attend the appointment over video chat, from inside my home, so that was a plus. Thankfully, my level of hearing loss was measured to be low as you can see in the image above. The level of accuracy of their testing technology can detect the earliest signs of minor hearing loss which can be a precursor to more hearing loss down the road.
Modern Hearing Aids Are Cutting Edge Technology
Modern hearing aids are truly technological wonders and are nothing like the huge hearing aids of the past. Even better is that like the popular earbud brands that you might use for listening to music, these hearing aids have gotten smaller, lighter, longer-lasting, and offer impressive features that I never thought possible.
I tried out hear.com’s new hearing aid, horizon. It is sleek and discrete and actually won a coveted Red Dot design award. When I tested it out, the horizon hearing aid was nearly invisible behind my ear so no one would know that I’m wearing it. I really love that it has Bluetooth connectivity, so I can stream music, TV shows, phone calls and more right into my ears.
Also, one of the things I remember from my father who was diagnosed with hearing loss many years ago, was how frustrating it was to him to run out of batteries. He had to replace the tiny batteries often, and even for a young man with nimble fingers, that was never easy. Well, the horizon is rechargeable. After being fully charged, it lasts 19 hours and even has a portable charging case with QI technology, so I never have two worry about them running out of juice.
This functions nearly identically to “fully wireless” ear buds, meaning that you are virtually immune to running out of power at a hockey game or while traveling.
Hearing Aids Do More Than Simply Amplify Volume.
You may have seen simple listening devices or “amplifiers” that are promoted on TV and social media. Stay away from those bargain devices. I found out that all they do is make sounds louder, and that can damage your hearing even more if used improperly. Hearing loss is actually an issue with speech clarity, NOT just volume. So you need a real quality solution that has the technology that provides crystal-clear speech, reduces background noise and helps you focus on what matters most.
Horizon does all of this. In fact, It’s the only hearing aid that offers a specialized Speech Focus feature to help you hear more clearly if you’re in a more challenging environment.
Hearing Aids Can Be An Investment In Restoring Quality of Life
Although I don’t need hearing aids just yet, it’s nice to know what options look like. I can’t predict the future but clearly hearing loss - whether rapid onset or a slow erosion of ability to comprehend what others around me are saying - is a challenge that many of us will face. Clearly, technology of the level that hear.com is presenting is not inexpensive.
When I first researched the price of hearing aids, I was initially surprised. They were more expensive than I had expected, but don’t let that scare you though. Here’s why.
As mentioned above, these devices are doing a lot more than simply letting you listen to music, and the underlying technology - including hardware, software, and medical support all has to be considered. In working with the staff at hear.com during my trial of the technology, it was clear that they genuinely care about their customers’ health and well being. This is about much more than simply technology. It is about restoring quality of life, improving performance at work, and maintaining your relationships with family and friends at church, hobbies, and family events.
Plus, when you factor in both the relative costs of prescription drugs as well as the value of improving your quality of life, business relationships, or even the priceless ability to be able to hear your family clearly around the dinner table, over the phone or in a Zoom meeting … it’s a no brainer.
Not All Hearing Loss Is The Same
There are different types of hearing loss that will ultimately need different solutions. This is a very complex subject but for instance, some people will be faced with gradual loss of hearing while others face sudden loss, and others suffer from Tinnitus or “ringing in the ears”. Other people’s hearing loss is caused by neurological issues in the brain while some people have suffered physical damage to the ear itself.
That’s why it is essential to have a professional make a proper diagnosis rather than just assuming something on your own or relying on people to simply, “Speak Up!!” That’s not a solution and it is hardly even a coping mechanism since if there is a medical reason for the gradual loss, it is possible that can be remedied so you can slow the loss and get hearing aid solutions to help recover as much ability as possible before it is completely gone.
One of the challenges that men face with any medical condition is that we are always expected to be strong and many of us perceive something like hearing loss as a weakness. I’m here to tell you that a strong man is able to solve problems, compensate for challenges, and does what needs to be done.
My experience with hear.com made the process of being tested for hearing loss and fitted for a hearing aid an easy and comfortable process.
I can honestly say that everyone I interacted with at hear.com was genuine, knowledgeable, and passionate about helping me find the best solution for my individual needs. They’ve helped change more than 100,000 people’s lives, and while I don’t normally endorse solutions, I wholeheartedly recommend considering them if you suspect hearing loss. With a 45-day trial to experience the technology for yourself and decide if it is right for you, this should be an easy choice to make if you think you might have hearing loss.
You can learn more by visiting hear.com and signing up for your no-risk trial.