With May dedicated as Better Hearing Month by Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC), Dunlop Hearing, which serves Estevan and Weyburn, is reminding the public about the importance of early detection and treatment of hearing loss.
Living proof of those benefits is Landon Woodruff, the clinic’s hearing aid practitioner, who suffered hearing loss at an early age and received assistance. “I’ve dealt with hearing loss and had hearing aids since I was two and a half,” he says.
Woodruff had genetic hearing loss but also contracted childhood mumps which further affected his condition. Fortunately, he was able to get help by using hearing aids early, a factor that helped him develop proper speech.
“Once I had the hearing aids I was able to hear and develop my speech much better,” he says, adding he also learned sign language as a youngster and underwent speech pathology.
Today, Woodruff serves clients who have confidence he understands their situation, first-hand. “I know the struggles and challenges with hearing aids,” Woodruff says. “I understand what my clients hear and how they hear. That helps a lot with their appointments moving forward, making sure they get the best adjustments for their hearing loss.”
Unfortunately, it can be a long road for some clients to come to the realization they can function better if they used hearing aids. “Many people, especially those who lose hearing later in life, it tends to take them on average seven years from the time they get tested to accepting help,” Woodruff says.
“There’s a lot of pride involved,” he explains, adding, “People, in general, don’t want to wear a bulky device behind their ear and have others know they have a handicap.”
And that can be an odd comparison when most people don’t think twice about wearing glasses, Woodruff says. But once they are shown how unobtrusive today’s high-tech hearing aids can be, they are far more willing to accept the assistance they provide.
“If there is a client who is really hesitant, I will get them in for a hearing test, give them the information and then let them have ample time to decide,” he says. “The worst thing you can do is try and force hearing aids on someone, because they won’t wear them.”
“It really has to be an acceptance thing, by the individual.”
For more information about how hearing aids can improve your quality of life, visit Dunlop Hearing online at: dunlophearing.ca, or call 306-634-0193.