This Father's Day, Give Dad the Gift of Better Hearing

TORONTO, June 15 /CNW/ - In our daily lives, the relationships we have with the people around us play a critically important role in our social well-being. None is more significant than the relationship we have with our family. This is why addressing a loved one's hearing loss can be strongly influenced by family members.

Studies show that family members have had great success in getting loved ones to take that first step toward admitting they have a hearing loss. Family members who act as "hearing helpers" for their loved ones are enabling instead of helping. Ask them to seek help for their hearing loss... it's the right thing to do.

Hearing loss is the third most chronic health problem in Canada and the fastest growing health issue among elderly Canadians. Hearing loss affects more than 10 per cent of the total population or three and half million people; and 50 per cent of those over the age of 60 years have a hearing loss today. Also, according to the Better Hearing Institute, six out of 10 people with hearing loss are men.

Chief Audiologist of ListenUP! Canada, Kate Dekok says, "People with unaddressed hearing loss often ask those around them to repeat themselves, speak more slowly or speak up, and tend to use visual cues rather than admit they have a problem. Family members who enable this behaviour are contributing to the denial of a serious health problem and lack of awareness of hearing loss. This only serves to perpetuate a situation that will lead to a diminished quality of life."

Men in particular tend to be more unwilling to address health problems, but they are at an even higher risk for hearing loss due to occupational and recreational hearing hazards. Individuals with hearing loss find that this condition not only affects personal relationships, but their ability to function properly in the workplace as well.

For those who do wear hearing aids, the quality of their lives generally improves. Research in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology states that people with a hearing loss who wear hearing aids, enjoy a better quality of life than those who choose not to. Most people who wear hearing aids have improved relationships and better social lives. The psychological, emotional and physical symptoms of hearing loss are drastically reduced and overall health is improved.

Helping a family member face up to the fact they have hearing loss, which is a permanent and irreversible condition that causes stress, embarrassment, anxiety and depression, poses many challenges. Don't family members have a duty to their loved ones to help them come to terms with it?

The first step in this process is to realize that by acting as ears for your loved one is not helping them and only adds to the problem. Persons with a hearing loss are less likely to seek treatment if they have someone acting as their messenger. "Family members need to gently remind them that others have to repeat themselves or speak up in order to help them communicate," says Dekok. "This action will hopefully help them realize how much they rely on others for help and eventually cause them to seek treatment."

About ListenUP! Canada:

ListenUP! Canada is Ontario's leading provider of hearing aids, with over 65 locations and 100 certified hearing healthcare experts across the province. Our mission is to provide individuals who have a hearing loss with the most professional, comprehensive and convenient hearing healthcare services and products needed to enhance the quality of their lives through better hearing.


For further information: For further information: about ListenUP! Canada or to arrange an interview with Kate Dekok, contact: Christina Atkinson, ListenUP! Canada, 416-925-9223 or

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