Top four reasons people avoid getting hearing tests

Hearing is one of your most important senses. So important, in fact, one of the first tests you get as a newborn is a hearing test. Your hearing connects you to your world and helps keep you safe. Even in your sleep, you keep hearing.

So why do so many people avoid getting their hearing tested?

Reason 1: I’m managing just fine.

Hearing loss can sneak up on you. You may develop coping techniques like lip reading or avoiding gatherings. You may ask coworkers to send an email rather than having a conversation. You may think you’re managing just fine, but chances are you’re not.

Those people who spend the most time with you aren’t loving your coping mechanisms. Constantly being asked to repeat themselves, missing out on gatherings because you don’t want to go and conflict being created because you misheard something – all things your loved ones are experiencing in the midst of your ‘managing just fine’.
If you don’t want to get your hearing test for yourself, do it for those who care about you.

Reason 2: I’m not old enough to have hearing problems.

Hearing loss happens at all ages. Sure, it’s more prevalent for those who’ve lived longer but it’s for that very reason it’s more prevalent – they’ve lived a life! Just like your joints can get ‘wear-and-tear’ from use over time, so can the parts of the ear that send sounds to your brain.

There are so many contributing factors to hearing loss. Saying it’s age is oversimplifying it.

Some medications, loud noises in our environments, illness, injury, lifestyle choices, and more can contribute to hearing loss. Everyone is old enough to have hearing problems.
No matter your age, if you’re asking people to repeat themselves, being accused of having the TV on too loud or have trouble understanding conversations in a crowded room, you may have some issues with your hearing health that a hearing test can help define.

Reason 3: I don’t like how hearing aids look

Images of grandpa’s big, clunky hearing aids! If the appearance of hearing aids is holding you back, the 21st Century takes that excuse away. Avoiding your hearing test because you don’t want to wreck your look by wearing a hearing aid can stop now.

Modern hearing aids are very discreet. While the type and level of your hearing loss may dictate what kind of hearing aid you need, there’s no need for a big, clunky hearing aid anymore. Some are the size of a pistachio and are well-hidden right inside your ear.

Finding the right hearing aid, not only for your level of hearing loss but for your lifestyle, is where a Hearing Instrument Specialist comes in. They’re knowledgeable about the available technologies and listen closely to your needs.

Reason 4: It’s all too complicated

Do you know how to read an Xray? Probably not. So, expecting to instantly understand an audiogram may be asking a lot of yourself. Fortunately, your Hearing Instrument Specialist will explain all the testing and your results in a way you can understand.

And hearing aids themselves don’t need to be complicated. You can have it as simple as just turning them on or off and let your Hearing Instrument Specialist worry about the rest. Or, if you’re a tech-minded person, you can take control through the apps available with many hearing aids.

Choosing the right hearing aid clinic

Not all hearing aid clinics are created equal.
Not all offer free hearing screening but Hear Well Be Well does.

Not all hearing clinics give you the option of a variety of manufacturers and brands. Some hearing clinics are actually owned by the manufacturers so your choices are limited or at least they push their own products. At Hear Well Be Well, you can access all the brands and technologies available in Ontario because we’re family-run, independent clinics.

Not all hearing clinics are willing to take the time to make sure you understand. At Hear Well Be Well, we believe compassion and trust are important elements in both the testing and, when needed, hearing aid choice. We’ll answer all your questions, happily share our knowledge and ensure you’re comfortable throughout your experience with us.

Don’t wait

Do what’s healthy for both you and your relationships. Get a FREE hearing test today at Hear Well Be Well.

Five things to know when shopping for hearing aids

Shopping for hearing aids can be an overwhelming experience. Just finding out you have hearing loss and need a hearing aid can put you in a tailspin. Plus, there are so many hearing aids to choose from. How do you know what’s right for you? Here’s a few things to think about when deciding both where to purchase your hearing aids and what hearing aids may be right for you.

1. Get a comprehensive hearing test

There are many components to a comprehensive hearing test. It’s not just 30 minutes in a soundproof booth with you pressing a button when you hear a sound. The more comprehensive the hearing test, the better the hearing instrument specialist or audiologist can assist with your hearing aid selection and the more precisely your hearing aid can be programmed to meet your needs.

When you or friends and family already know there’s evidence of hearing loss, that comprehensive hearing test is really important. If your initial hearing test appointment is less than an hour, you likely aren’t getting the depth of testing required to deliver best hearing with your aids.

2. Not all hearing aids are created equal

Every hearing aid has its own unique features and benefits. Keep in mind, the smaller the hearing aid, the fewer the features. As hearing aids get smaller, there’s less space for the technology required for complex hearing loss. If you want to reduce certain background noises or boost the sound frequencies you struggle to hear, you may not be able to do that with all tiny hearing aids.

Think about your dexterity as well. Changing tiny batteries, or even putting your hearing aids in or on, may be a challenge if you have fine-motor difficulties. Then there’s matching your hearing aid to your lifestyle. Do you want it to connect to your cellphone or to your television so you can listen to TV at your personal volume without affecting others?

And there’s no need to let your vanity suffer just because ‘invisible’ hearing aids may not be right for you. There are many hearing aid choices that are hidden behind or on top of your ear.

3. Know who you’re buying from

In Ontario, the national hearing aid clinic chains are mostly owned by hearing aid manufacturers. They only sell their own products. If you want more choice while shopping for hearing aids, and finding the right aids for you, you may want to consider booking an appointment at an independent or family-owned clinic. Family-owned hearing aid clinics are generally independent and can offer more than one manufacturer’s products as well as delivering very personalized service.

4. Review the service plans for after-purchase care

After shopping for hearing aids and deciding on your purchase, you need to care for them and for yourself. It can get expensive if your hearing aid clinic doesn’t offer you a lifetime or comprehensive service plan with regularly scheduled appointments to ensure you’re hearing well after your purchase. In Ontario, hearing aid clinics generally use the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario (AHIP) fee guidelines for individual after-purchase services like hearing instrument reprogramming, wax removal, hearing aid cleaning or a hearing reassessment.

You want your hearing aids to deliver the best possible hearing which can take reprogramming and sometimes retesting. Even adapting to your hearing aids can go more smoothly with the support of your hearing aid clinic.

Make sure you’re fully informed on what you’ll have to pay for after purchase before you commit to your purchase.

5. Get financial support if you qualify

In Ontario, the Ministry of Health through their Assistive Devices Program may help cover some of the cost for your hearing aids. Choose a clinic where the staff is not only willing but happy to help you with the paperwork for this financial support.

If you’ve been injured in a work-related accident or are a Veteran of the Canadian Forces, your hearing aid clinic should be knowledgeable of processes and assessments as well as demonstrate a willingness to advocate for you.

Hear Well Be Well is a family-owned hearing aid clinic with over 30-years experience and 13 locations in Ontario offering the most up-to-date technologies to get you hearing your best. Contact us to book your hearing assessment.

Benefits of a hearing test

There is a stigma about having hearing loss. It stems from a belief that this natural process makes you seem ‘old’. This belief can cause people to be reluctant to get their hearing tested,. There are many benefits to having your hearing tested regularly.

Benefit #1

Having a hearing test can help you understand your hearing system’s ability today. They say, ‘knowledge is power’. At Hear Well Be Well™, we want you to be an advocate for your own hearing health. We will arm you with the knowledge you need to feel empowered to make decisions.

Benefit #2

Having regular hearing tests will help identify whether you have any hearing loss and, if so, to what degree it may exist. During your hearing test, your clinician will talk with you about the impact your hearing ability is having on your lifestyle and relationships. They will offer solutions to help you deal with these implications. Sometimes, they will recommend hearing aids as a solution.

When you are armed with knowledge about your solution options, you can take control over your quality of life.

Hearing loss is gradual

It’s important to know, hearing loss is gradual. Our hearing starts to change in our 40’s. It is so subtle, we often do not recognize the signs immediately. Our brain will tell us we hear the same today as we did yesterday. Thus, we will not acknowledge our gradual hearing loss over the years. Because the process of hearing loss is so gradual, we may tell ourselves it is only circumstance; that other people are not speaking clearly, or that there is too much noise around us. By the time we recognize the issue may be our hearing, and not the circumstances, 20 years may have passed.

Thus, it is our lack of recognition of the presence of the issue in our 40’s that stopped us from addressing the problem when it started. Unfortunately, our hearing does not improve with time, or by leaving it alone to fix itself; hearing loss continues to gradually worsen. Knowing our hearing will naturally start to decline, and that it will continue to decline without intervention, is the reason we recommend having regular hearing tests.

Hearing connects us

Hearing is one of our five major senses that help us understand the world around us. Sound can arouse our emotions: hearing a child laugh or the voice of a loved one. It can trigger our memories: music can magically transport us to another time. Sound also alerts us to the presence of danger, or to the presence of a loved one on the other end of the phone. Hearing connects us, not only to the world, but to one another. Our ability to hear is a wonderful gift, and one we often take for granted.

As humans, we have an instinctive need for social connection with others. Social connections help us develop higher self-esteem and empathy, as well as reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, social connectedness has a direct influence on improving our immune systems (CMHA, 2019). Hearing well is a vital element of your social connection and an important part of your healthy lifestyle because it helps you stay connected with the people around you.

Hearing loss is normal in adulthood

When working with clients, I find they are comforted to learn that hearing loss is normal in adulthood; that this is not something they caused or could have avoided. In addition to natural biological factors, there are environmental influences, such as noise exposure, that have a direct effect. In this modern world, we are constantly bombarded with noise and our hearing system is unable to be selective about what it wants to hear and what it does not. We do not have ear lids to shut sound out.

Get a baseline test by age 55

Fortunately, some clinics, like Hear Well Be Well, offer a free hearing evaluation. We do this because we believe your hearing is so vital to your overall wellbeing that we do not want affordability to be a barrier to your access to this important health resource. Ideally, we recommend you start by getting a baseline test by the age of 55, then at regular intervals based on your clinician’s recommendation. But it is never too late to start!

Contact us to book an appointment today.

Low monthly price with hearing aid rental

Our NEW hearing aid rental program offers one low monthly price.

Available exclusively to our 13 clinics in southwestern and central Ontario, you can now wear brand-new latest technology hearing aids at an affordable low monthly price. Now that’s an attractive option!

Program details

Our new subscription program provides an alternative to ownership (which requires payment in-full at time of dispensing). Therefore, you now have 2 options: you can either own, or rent, your hearing aids.

As a subscriber to this new program, you’ll experience the freedom of hearing clearly, while enjoying peace of mind afforded by one low monthly price. You’ll also have access to the latest in hearing aid technology.

If you’ve been hesitant about owning hearing aids either due to upfront cost, or fear of wearing outdated technology, taking advantage of this new rental program is a welcome option.

Man giving thumbs up for low monthly price

The benefits

What this means for you:

ONE LOW MONTHLY PRICE – Rent your hearing aids for one low monthly price, starting as low as $99 per month for a pair of hearing aids.

NO UNEXPECTED COSTS – The subscription covers a thorough assessment and full warranty on the device.

• ALWAYS HAVING THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY – One attractive benefit of renting your hearing aids is the option to upgrade your device every 3 years. That way, you’ll always have the latest technology, and won’t need to worry about the cost of replacing outdated technology.

• GIVING THE GIFT OF HEARING – When you upgrade your hearing aids with us, your old devices are refurbished and donated to a charitable organization, to help people with hearing loss in developing countries.

If you prefer hearing aid ownership, this option is still available to you. Our new rental program provides a second option, with one low monthly price.

Call today

Whether you decide to rent or own your hearing aids, you choose the plan that’s right for you.

To book a FREE hearing test and to learn more about hearing aid rental, call us at 1-888-457-3453.

When hearing aids can fit your lifestyle and your budget, life sounds good!

Hard of hearing? Five signs of hearing loss

signs of hearing loss

Hearing loss doesn’t typically happen all at once. Instead, it slowly develops over time.

If you’re having trouble hearing, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about the early signs of hearing loss.

1. High-pitched voices sound unclear

If you’re having trouble hearing high-pitched voices, it could be a first sign of hearing loss. As we get older, the cochlea, the inner ear organ that helps you detect higher pitches, doesn’t perform as well.

If you’ve noticed some difficulty in understanding children’s or women’s voices, take note of any further changes in your hearing. Although it might be subtle at first, this is a common early indicator.

2. Struggling with background noise

As your cochlea becomes unable able to detect high-pitched sounds, you may find it more and more challenging to follow a conversation.

When you have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds, such as voices, your brain will instead focus on the ambient sounds around you. If you’re at a crowded place like a mall or large event, you might only be able to concentrate on background noise and struggle to keep up with conversations.

Do you find yourself turning the television or radio volume up more and more? Perhaps people have commented on the loud volume. Because television shows combine a variety of audio effects, your brain might have a hard time separating voices from music and other sounds.

3. Social events take too much out of you

Have you noticed that going to parties or other social outings is taking more and more out of you? When your ears are unable to transmit signals to your brain, you have to focus much harder to fill in the gaps.

If you’re having a conversation with more than one person, just paying attention can become a juggling act. And, at the end of the discussion, you might feel mentally exhausted.

4. Your ears feel clogged

Although our ears can occasionally become clogged with wax, the feeling should be temporary. If you feel like your ears are constantly clogged, it could be an early warning sign that your hearing has diminished.

Start by visiting your doctor to have any excess earwax removed. If your ears still feel clogged, you’ll most likely be referred to an audiologist or hearing specialist.

5. You focus on reading lips rather than eye contact

If you’ve stopped making eye contact during a conversation, and instead started focusing on reading lips, you might not hear as well as you used to.

When you can’t hear someone speaking, your brain will naturally shift its focus to the speaker’s lips. This instinct helps you follow the conversation with less difficulty.

Check yourself for signs of hearing loss

Now that you know about some of the most common signs of hearing loss, it’s time to self assess. If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, it could be an early warning.

Take action and visit your doctor! Most hearing loss is degenerative, and waiting could allow permanent damage to set in.

If you have questions or concerns about your hearing, let us help. Contact us to schedule a consultation.