You’re Not Deaf!

August 15, 2007 by Martin Fortin
Every day, in my practice, I meet people who have hearing problems. These people often ask themselves whether or not it is worth it to wear a hearing aid.

It is important to know that the decision to wear a hearing aid should never be based solely on hearing loss as measured by the hearing test.

In fact, at the beginning of the nineteen eighties, a sub-committee of the World Health Organization put into place a conceptual framework so as to allow the situation to be clarified. This framework concentrated on the notions of deficiency, incapacity, obstacles, and handicap situations.

Deficiency is a problem at the level of the organ. Incapacity is a loss of functioning of the organ. An obstacle is linked to the environment. Handicap situations flow out of the interaction between deficiency, incapacity, and obstacles. But concretely, what does all this mean?

You're Not Deaf!

For example, your affected ear causes you to have difficulty to be able to situate where sounds are coming from. This situation may be catastrophic if you happen to be an ornithologist, because you will not be able to locate the birds that you are hearing, and that you would like to observe.

One must know that the threshold criteria that are measured during the audiogram, like those of the RAMQ, do not take into consideration your lifestyle. In other words, the audiogram serves to ensure that it is technically possible to outfit you with hearing aids, and that there are no medical counter-instructions that would prevent the wearing of hearing aids.

In the preceding example, even with a normal ear, it is desirable to use a hearing aid on the side of the affected ear, so as to not compromise in any way your passion for birds. It is worthy of note, however, that a person in this situation would not be admissible for a hearing aid paid for by the RAMQ.