Every day, we receive calls from people in the Anchorage and Eagle Creek communities who are concerned about hearing loss. Sometimes they have questions about their own hearing loss, and other times they’re worried about a family member or friend.
Hearing loss can be scary, and individuals who reach out to us are often unsure of where to begin when it comes to treating it. Many people don’t know anyone else who has a hearing loss or who wears hearing aids, so they’re not sure where to turn for help and advice.
Hearing professional advice from an audiologist is helpful, but so is hearing from someone who has been in a similar position as them.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a hearing loss and would benefit from hearing from other hearing loss patients, this article is for you.
We asked a few of our patients to share their stories of their hearing loss journey in order to empower and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. I hope their stories encourage you to seek treatment as soon as you first experience the symptoms of a hearing loss.
Please share this with anyone whom it may benefit.
The first story is from a patient named Becki.
Becki realized that she had a hearing loss at just 35 when she began needing hearing-impaired headphones at the movie theater. She was having a hard time hearing the dialogue, especially when other people around her were being noisy. Becki recalls that at the time, there was a stigma around hearing loss. It’s a common misconception that you are either born with it, or it only develops later in life.
Becki finally booked an appointment at Alaska Hearing and Tinnitus Center. She recalls, “Prior to my appointment, I was afraid I would be told that I really didn’t have a hearing issue, that my mom was right that I just wasn’t paying attention. I had retreated from social settings without realizing it. So much so, that after I got the hearing aids and started hanging out with friends, I heard people mention that they thought I was a figment of my husband’s imagination, as they had never met me.”
After confirming that she was indeed experiencing symptoms of hearing loss and receiving hearing aids, Becki’s quality of life improved greatly.
She says of her experience post-hearing aids, “I enjoy so many more activities than before. Camping. I can hear everyone around the campfire. Dinner. I can hear everyone at the table. Even meetings have improved dramatically. I have settings programmed for all these situations. Alaska Hearing & Tinnitus Center has been instrumental in giving me the tools needed to get back to living and enjoying everything around me. If you are thinking of visiting Alaska Hearing, what are you waiting for?”
The second story is one that is all too common. This story comes from a patient named Samuel.
Our team treated Samuel for six years before he relocated to New Zealand. When he first came into the Alaska Hearing and Tinnitus Center office, he was only 11 years old.
Samuel recalls of his first visit, “I didn’t really want to be there, but at the same time I knew deep down I needed to be there. I didn’t say much for the first few times I saw you, but that didn’t stop you from trying to help me out and I really appreciate that you never stopped. But, when you told me I needed hearing aids, I was about ready to fight. Little did I know the world I was missing out on. With your knowledge, understanding, and empathy you show your patients; it’s incredibly rare to find a doctor like that. You’re that doctor. You gave me hearing aids that showed me the world was whatever I made of it and pushed me to challenge myself to do great things.”
Unfortunately, Samuel’s hearing declined suddenly and quickly, and his hearing aids required some adjustments. “When these sudden drops happened, you always knew what to do, including referring me to an ENT just to check to make sure everything was in order. That level of care was impeccable, and I really appreciate it,” Samuel says.
Years later, after relocating, Samuel’s hearing loss became profound. He was deemed a candidate for cochlear implants and received surgery for bilateral implants. Samuel reached out to our team to keep us updated on his cochlear implant journey, and we couldn’t be happier for him!
“Although you’re not going to be the audiologist that turns on my implants, you were the audiologist that began this long and tough journey of hearing loss with me, so thank you.”
These are just two of many stories from people who have taken action to address their hearing challenges.
Common Reasons for Avoiding Treating Hearing Loss
Seeking treatment for hearing loss can be a scary, emotional journey. Did you know that the average person waits up to seven years after realizing they have a hearing loss before seeking treatment?
The issue is that untreated hearing loss often becomes worse. And once your hearing is gone, there’s no getting it back. Therefore, treating hearing loss as soon as possible is crucial.
There are two main reasons someone may delay seeking treatment for a hearing loss.
#1 – They’re nervous about the financial investment.
Hearing healthcare is definitely an investment. But it’s truly an investment in your health, happiness, and quality of life.
And you don’t always have to pay out of pocket. There are many options – including insurance financing and payment plans.
The best thing to do is have a conversation with a professional. Here at Alaska Hearing and Tinnitus Center, our team is dedicated to helping you find the best options for your lifestyle and budget.
#2 – They don’t want to wear hearing aids.
While no one looks forward to needing to wear hearing aids, they are often the best tool for helping you hear better and improving your overall quality of life.
The good news is that there are plenty of discreet options on the market today. Some are nearly invisible to the naked eye. Many of our patients have shared that their friends, family, and coworkers didn’t even notice their hearing aids after they received them!
We believe that it’s time to break the stigma around hearing aids. You’ll be surprised at the difference they can make when you try them!
Treatment for Hearing Loss in Anchorage and Eagle River
If you’re feeling encouraged by the patient stories above and are ready to take the next steps toward better hearing health, schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment today. During your hearing assessment, we’ll assess your hearing and discuss the best options for you based on your lifestyle, budget, and goals.