Hearing loss is an invisible health concern that effects nearly 40 million people in the U.S. If you have concerns with your hearing, you are not alone. Nearly one in eight people suffer from hearing loss.
We know that face masks have an important role in our world these days. However, the use of masks provides new challenges to communication. Limiting the visual cues of speech makes communication a real challenge for anyone with less than stellar hearing.
“It is important to see a speaker’s face to better understand what is being said, especially if you have a limited ability to hear,” says audiologist Dr. Jason Leyendecker. “Masks limit the facial expressions and speech cues needed for effective communication.”
Audiology Concepts has adopted the idea of using clear masks to limit conversational breakdowns. Also known as communicator masks, clear masks provide protection while allowing the listener to read lips and see facial expressions. “Communication in our office is more effective with our clear masks and patients have been much happier!” Leyendecker reports.
It is easy to overlook the emotional aspects of hearing loss if you are not personally effected. Imagine a world where every video you watched was filtered so you only understood half the words. You would frequently miss the punchline of jokes and be drained at the end of the day. This is just one aspect of how hearing loss effects a hearing-impaired person.
The hearing professionals at Audiology Concepts take these emotions into account when helping a patient decide how to manage their hearing concerns. Its providers are certified in patient-centered care through the Ida Institute, a prestigious program created by leading experts from all over the world.
“This program allows the provider, patient, and family to work together to create a care plan. It is important that everyone has a say in the process as they will all be involved in the treatment,” responds Dr. Leyendecker.
In order to qualify for the Ida Institute certification, at least 80% of the clinic staff must complete dedicated courses on how to apply patient-centered care in the office. This includes listening to the clients’ individual preferences and perspectives, sharing decision-making, involving their family when appropriate, and providing emotional support.
Visit Audiology Concepts’ website to schedule an appointment.