You’ve been labeled as hearing impaired. It’s who you are now. Except, it’s only one part of who are. So why would you want to draw more attention to it by becoming a hearing loss advocate? Well, the funny thing is by becoming an advocate for your hearing loss, you’ll find that hearing loss becomes a part of your identity but not your whole identity as you’re better able to live your life to the full.

Let’s break it down some more. Here are 4 reasons for becoming an advocate for hearing loss:

You’ll gain a better understanding of your condition

Advocating for yourself means first getting to grips with exactly how your condition affects you. When you speak to a hearing care professional at Physicians Hearing Care, be completely frank about how your hearing loss has an impact on your life. Is it worse in one ear versus the other? Are particular sounds more challenging to understand? Do you have a ringing sound in your ears? Laying out all of your symptoms means you can have an honest discussion with your hearing care professional and get a better idea of what kind of hearing loss you have and how to manage it.

You’ll get treatment that is more tailored to your lifestyle

It’s hard to advocate for hearing loss without understanding the different forms of treatment. Do some research, a simple Internet search will bring up a wealth of information on what types of hearing aids are available today and the different features they come with. When you then meet with a hearing care professional, you don’t just need to take their advice on the best hearing aid for you, you can fill them in on your opinions too. Together you can find the perfect fit for your lifestyle.

You’ll be able to build stronger relationships

Even once you’ve got your hearing aids, the multitude of hearing environments you’ll encounter will still mean some situations are challenging. If you can’t understand what someone is saying, don’t just nod and smile. Let them know. Tell them how they can make it easier for you to understand them if they look directly at you when they speak. If you’re going to a friends place for dinner, explain that it’s easier for you to follow conversations if the seating is arranged so that you can see everyone’s faces and background music is turned down low or off. When you can be a part of the conversation, you’ll be able to truly connect with people and build deeper relationships.

You’ll be able to enjoy both work and play more

Businesses are legally bound to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace environment for people with hearing loss. So if you’re struggling, speak up and ask for those changes to be made. The same goes at public facilities, from museums and hotels to restaurants and cafes. If communicating in these spaces is challenging and there is something that they can do to help, ask them.

At Physicians Hearing Care we’re all for promoting hearing loss advocates. So take the first step, get your hearing tested and start advocating!

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Dr. Kalyn Bradford Au.D.

Dr. Kalyn Bradford is the director of hearing aid services here at Physician's Hearing Care. She completed her externship with Physician's Hearing Care in 2013 and subsequently joined the practice in 2014 after graduating with her doctoral degree in audiology from Louisiana Tech University. She joined PHC as a clinical audiologist, where she performed comprehensive audiological exams and specialized in helping patients to hear better using the latest hearing aid technology available. She has carried that experience into her current role as director of hearing aid services, where she does an excellent job managing the audiologists to ensure that all patients are treated with the best hearing care possible.