Did you know that nearly 38 million Americans experience some form of hearing loss and that 1 in 3 Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss? In addition, according to the CDC, nearly 12 million Americans older than 40 experience a form of vision impairment.
I wasn’t too surprised to hear this because many of my patients live with BOTH hearing loss and vision loss. At Oro Valley Audiology, we understand navigating both can be frustrating. That is why we take all the time necessary to counsel our patients suffering from vision loss and hearing loss to make their lives easier, not harder.
We have many tips & tricks to help our patients with hearing loss & visual impairment! Finding innovative, creative solutions for our patients is one thing we love to do. Below we highlighted some common questions we receive regarding vision loss and hearing aids.
“My mother has low vision. How can we trust that she can see or use her hearing aids?”
Tactile→ Adding the sensation of touch can be helpful. Certain people prefer to have additional tactile buttons to help them feel their hearing aids or to identify the position of the device in the ear.
Light Indicators→ Many hearing aids are rechargeable and use blinking lights to indicate when the device is charging and when it’s ready to use.
Color Indicators→ Sometimes, patients with severe visual impairment mark their hearing aids with stickers or nail polish to identify which device belongs in each ear. For one specific patient, I even ordered hearing aids with two different colors to differentiate each ear. The patient quickly remembered, “Red is right, and Blue is left.”
“Will hearing aids interfere with my glasses?”
I probably get this question at least once per day! The answer is surprisingly no. It will not. When one of our patients asks this, I usually put a sample hearing aid on their ear and then put their glasses on too. Then we show them with a mirror that there is much more room at the top of their ear than we realize. This room allows for the bow of their glasses and the wire or hook of the hearing aid to share the space nicely. Now, in some rare cases, our patients do have to get their hearing aids adjusted slightly, so they sit a little bit differently, but this is rare.
Can I bring along a family member to my appointment?
Yes! Please do. The more, the merrier. It’s always good to have another person accompany you to your hearing aid fitting because we give you a lot of information in one setting. It is also helpful to bring a familiar voice with you so that once the hearing aids are fit, you can listen to a familiar voice. If you cannot bring someone to your hearing aid fitting, that is ok too! We always make sure to provide large-printed materials in black and white. These materials summarize what happened during the appointment so that you have something easy to reference if you have questions at home.
If you or a loved one has vision loss, schedule a yearly hearing evaluation. Studies have demonstrated that dual sensory impairment is often linked to avoidance of social interactions and a diminished quality of life. However, there is hope! Call us today for your hearing evaluation! 520-825-4770