As an audiologist, you likely work with patients with hearing loss on a daily basis. From your extensive education, years of experience, and unique perspective as a hearing health care specialist, you know that hearing aids can be life-changing for many patients with hearing loss.
However, the recommendation to use hearing aids is typically not met with 100 percent agreement and compliance. Why is that? Several factors may influence a patient with hearing loss to be reluctant to use hearing aids. First, hearing aids can be an expensive investment. Some patients may even assume that hearing aids are more expensive than they really are, simply because they are uninformed.
Other patients may struggle to decide to use hearing aids because of a perceived stigma surrounding hearing loss and hearing devices. For example, they may feel that using hearing aids will make them obviously “different” from their friends and colleagues. They may also believe that using hearing aids is, in a way, “admitting” that they are hearing impaired in a way they are not yet ready for.
The fact remains that hearing aids are life-changing – in a positive way – for most patients with hearing loss. To help patients who are struggling with the decision to use hearing aids, a personal story from someone who uses hearing aids may be a deciding factor. Simply learning how hearing aids have benefited another person’s life can make a patient desire those same benefits in their own life, and therefore encourage them to agree to use hearing aids. For certain patients, these personal stories may be even more convincing than all of the medical and scientific research you can show them as their audiologist.
For example, this editor and writer for Medical News Today shared his personal experience in using hearing aids. In just his first 48 hours with hearing aids, he noticed incredible, positive differences in his life. He also discovered that his friends and colleagues responded positively to his use of hearing aids. He feels empowered and enlivened by his hearing aids.
When you have a patient who is uncertain about using hearing aids, you may want to consider sharing another patient’s personal story with them. This can remove uncertainties about whether hearing aids would benefit their life. Knowing that other people are in similar situations can also help the patient feel more comfortable and less “different.” Furthermore, learning about other people’s experiences with hearing aids can ensure that they have realistic expectations for their own treatment.
To do this, you can share published stories like the one mentioned above, or you may want to collect personal stories from your own patients with hearing aids. Ask a happy patient if they would be willing to share with others how hearing aids have benefited their life. You can then share their experiences in-person with your patients who are deciding whether to use hearing aids.
For added marketing usage, share brief comments from hearing aid users (with their permission) in your online messaging and advertising, such as on a social media page. This can start to put a person with hearing loss at ease about using hearing aids, even before they come to your office. Plus, the patient will see that other people have had positive experiences with you and your practice.
For more information about how to use personal stories about hearing aids in-person and online, we invite you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus.