If You Can’t Hear the Call “Four!” while Golfing, It’s Time to Get Your Hearing Checked!
Many people struggle with hearing problems without even knowing there’s an issue. As a golfer, you may have trouble hearing conversation when your fellow golfers are a distance away or have trouble hearing others on a windy day.
“Golf is such a social sport where you are chatting while playing and communication is really important,” says Jillian Price, Chief Audiologist and Director of Audiology Client Experience at HearingLife Canada Ltd. “I have so many golfers who I’ve seen as clients over the years, and I want to be sure that as their hearing changes, they are able to deal with environmental issues such as the wind, and that they are able to hear conversations clearly to really get the most enjoyment out of the game.”
HearingLife Canada is an official sponsor of the 2024 Golf Town Toronto Golf & Travel Show happening February 2nd to 4th in Hall 5 at The International Centre in Mississauga.
Truth be told, hearing loss related to aging is a fact of life. Hearing loss occurs gradually as a part of aging but can be caused by other factors such as loud noise, trauma or disease.
“It’s not if, it’s when—we are all going to experience hearing loss to some degree as we age,” says Jillian.
According to a study done by Statistics Canada called “Hearing Health of Canadian Adults”, the statistics show that overall, 38% of adults aged 20 to 79 had hearing loss while 37% had tinnitus (that ringing or buzzing in your ears). The percentage of Canadians with audiometrically measured hearing loss increases as we age– 9% for those aged 20-39; 27% for people aged 40-49; 51% for people aged 50 to 59; 77% of people aged 60-69 and those aged 70 to 79 had 94% hearing loss. Source: Statistics Canada
Says Jillian: “After age 60 over half of the population suffers from some degree of hearing loss while for those over age 70, almost everyone had hearing loss. It’s almost inevitable. But just as our eyes age and we make changes to improve our vision, it’s the same with hearing.”
If it seems like people around you are mumbling or you are constantly asking someone to repeat the question, you may be experiencing some degree of hearing loss. There are other signs as well.
“The first sign of age-related hearing is that we start to struggle with background noise such as at a family function or in a restaurant where there’s chatting and music, or at a meeting where there is competing noise. It’s not that we are not hearing, it’s that what we are hearing is not clear. Other signs include turning the TV up louder or feeling like everyone around you is mumbling. You think, ‘it’s not me, it’s you.’ But if you stop going out to dinner or to events because you are having trouble hearing in a loud environment, this is affecting your behaviour. These are signs that something is going on and it’s time to get it checked out.”
A solution is to go online on the HearingLife Canada website and book an online hearing test. “This will show you if there is a problem, but ideally you should come into one of our 350 clinics across Canada for a complete hearing assessment test,” recommends Jillian. “There are several good reasons to do so—it’s free, it takes about an hour, and it provides a baseline for treatment.” (No doctor referral is needed for the free hearing exam)
There are many reasons why some people who may suspect they have a hearing issue ‘put off’ having their hearing tested.
“Honestly, no one is jumping up and down or excited to be wearing hearing aids and there is a lot of denial, procrastination and struggle going on,” admits Jillian. “People think they are managing it, but they are not managing it. They are missing out. When you are just nodding at people because you can’t hear them or you can’t hear what your grandkids are saying, you are missing out. Is it worth it? We can’t fix hearing loss—the changes are permanent, but we can restore it through amplification. Hearing aids bring the sounds back.”
Not wanting others to know you wear hearing aids is one reason people delay seeking help. Advancements in technology have led to the creation of many ear devises that are so discreet, most people don’t even know you are wearing them.
“It’s an ongoing project for hearing aid manufacturers who are constantly adapting to what the clients want,” states Jillian. “Size is an important thing when it comes to hearing aids. You can’t go too miniature as the devise needs to collect and analyze sound, but yes, we try to keep the devises small, discreet and comfortable. Our goal is to have the wearer forget they even have them on. We want people to feel like themselves and to get back to doing the things they love instead of missing out on things.”
HearingLife provides a 30-day free hearing aid trial and a 90-day guaranteed hearing aid satisfaction which includes the support needed to be sure your hearing aids are working and fitting properly. There’s no return or exchange fees.
“Hearing aids are an investment in terms of bettering your health,” states Jillian. “Just as you would have your eyes checked and update your prescription, it’s the same with hearing. There are many options such as payment plans. It’s something that is likely to happen in everyone’s future so it’s a good idea to plan for it. Being able to hear properly makes the investment so worth it.” Jillian has been an Audiologist for 20 years as of next April 2024.
“I went into this field because I had a personal connection—from an early age, I watched my father struggle with hearing issues,” she says. “It gave me a different perspective in terms of the impact it had on him and on everyone around him. It’s such an important part of relationships. What I love most about my work is when someone comes back to the clinic and tells me they wish they had got their hearing aids sooner. Seeing the smiles on the faces of our clients when they first wear their hearing aids makes my job worthwhile. Depending on how long they have waited or the degree of hearing loss, it’s often a life-changing experience! It’s a very rewarding profession.”
Asked what she is most proud of as Chief Audiologist at HearingLife Canada, Jillian answers: “I am also proud of our HearingLife Canada Campaign for Better Hearing. It began in 2015 and we’ve helped hundreds of people who are struggling by outfitting them with free hearing aids. This year alone we provided 300 hearing aids free of charge through our clinics across Canada. The potential recipients are clients who are nominated by our clinics. It’s a very emotional and rewarding day when these clients come in to be outfitted for their complimentary hearing aids.” (For more information on the campaign, visit campaignforbetterhearing.ca)
Jillian sums it up: “Our goal is to help more people hear better and to live a full life.”
There are over 350 HearingLife Canada clinics across Canada. To find a clinic near you, visit hearinglife.ca