Patients who are newly diagnosed with hearing loss are often overwhelmed with information and emotions. After all, it’s a lot to absorb and process.
As a hearing care professional, you can be a valuable source of information for newly diagnosed patients, helping alleviate some of the stress and anxiety they may experience.
Here are five ways you can help:
1. Be a source of information. Information is power, so when patients are first diagnosed with hearing loss, help them understand their diagnosis. Help them answer questions such as:
- What caused the hearing loss?
- Will it progress?
- What can I expect now that I know my level of hearing loss?
- Which hearing aid should I use?
- How long is the adjustment period?
These frequently asked questions warrant comprehensive, personalized answers. By serving as a trusted source of information and taking the time to counsel patients through this life change, you will help them gain comfort and confidence with the diagnosis. This is especially helpful as patients prepare to invest in hearing technology.
2. Offer options. Equip yourself to make recommendations that meet your patients’ needs. You can do this by staying up to date with the latest advances in hearing instruments. You already know that hearing loss is very individualized, so no one hearing device will work for all patients. Whether your patient has mild conductive hearing loss, severe sensorineural hearing loss, or single-sided deafness, there’s a hearing solution available that can be personalized for their needs.
Sonic’s latest products keep sound natural and enhance speech understanding in noise. Developed with sophisticated features from the Extend Technology Platform, you can offer patients intelligent compression and noise management strategies for improved speech intelligibility and listening comfort in noise, effective feedback cancellation, dedicated programs that address tinnitus or improve the sound of music, advanced wireless technology including remote fitting, and more – all in stylish designs that are reliable and easy to use.
3. Provide reassurance. Patients want to know they’re not alone. As a hearing care professional, you can assure patients that many other people experience hearing loss. One in eight Americans has some degree of hearing loss, with people between the ages of 60 and 69 being more likely to experience it. Hearing loss can occur at any age for any number of reasons. By providing information, examples, support groups and opportunities for patients to connect with others, you will empower them to embrace their new normal. Offer resources both within and outside your practice, so patients have a variety of options to engage with the hearing loss community.
4. Foster good communication. Tell your patients to be vocal with friends, family and coworkers about their hearing loss. Attempting to hide it will only make things more difficult for them and their loved ones. Since communication involves two parties, each should assume their roles and recognize their responsibility to the other. Offer strategies that both the listener and the communicator can use to enhance everyday conversation, such as listening with the eyes, not just the ears, or verifying messages were heard correctly.
5. Encourage patience. It’s not easy to live with hearing loss, but adjusting to a hearing instrument can be exhausting. Encourage your patients to have patience as they adjust. Tell them it’s OK to gradually increase the time they wear their hearing aid each day. This will help reduce auditory fatigue and make it easier to commit to wearing the device for longer periods. You should also encourage patients to go easy on themselves. They’re facing a big life change that takes time to embrace. Keeping a good sense of humor doesn’t hurt either.
Support and Resources from Sonic
Treating a newly diagnosed hearing loss patient is tricky. No two fittings are the same, but finding the right hearing device is tantamount to patient adherence. Sonic is here to provide support as you select the right device for your patients.
We are always available for support—from fitting assistance to our website, e-learnings, training and more. If you’re looking to make sure Everyday Sounds Better for your patients, contact us today!
- Hoffman H. “Declining Prevalence of Hearing Loss in US Adults Aged 20 to 69 Years,” JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017;143(3):274-285.
- “Quick Statistics About Hearing,” National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, March 25, 2021, accessed December 11, 2021. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing.