Recently, Dear Abby featured a response to a reader who had complained about having dinner in a public restaurant with her in-laws, who both have hearing loss. It was signed "Mortified."
Obviously, they had difficulty following the conversation and the reader found it embarrassing, but what I really want to call attention to are the responses from readers regarding the situation. One suggested the in-laws should connect with the Hearing Loss Association of America. There are 200-plus chapters in the nation, and we have one of the best right here in Kansas City! Many of our patients are active members, and Associated Audiologists is a proud sponsor. You can find out more at their blog.
The other response was from an audiologist who also offered some sound advice, including an annual hearing test and follow-up with an audiologist for regular maintenance and care. He also suggested diners request to be seated away from noisier areas. Though I wasn't privy to the details of this conversation, there are millions of them that take place at dinner tables and restaurants across Kansas City and our nation every day. This reader complained that her in-laws couldn't hear, even though they wear hearing aids. Unfortunately, that can be the case if you don't follow the audiologists' advice and get your hearing checked regularly, use appropriate technology, or have your hearing aids routinely maintained and adjusted.
Hearing is one of our most precious senses. We know what a challenge it is for many people, but we're here to help. If you have problems with your existing hearing aids, or someone in your family has been "mortified" by your response to a conversation, do yourself a favor and schedule an appointment for a comprehensive hearing evaluation and consultation with one of our professional audiologists. It's the first step to better communication with your family and friends.