February 15, 2023
We frequently see patients who have been told what to expect about their situation. They see us for a problem we may be able to help with, but someone else may have set up an expectation beforehand. This may be from a family member, friend, or medical professional. Usually, the intentions are good. Friends want to help friends. Family members want to protect their loved ones. In some instances, the advice influenced the patient to seek help. Sometimes one’s past experiences can help guide another to the best outcome.
Unfortunately, not all advice is in the patient’s best interest, despite the best of intentions. Examples abound in our office. The expectations set up by others may be unrealistic. They may be unrealistically negative OR positive. Let’s look at a few examples that are not helpful to a patient seeking help.
Negative expectations are a barrier to accepting help:
- “My golfing buddy told me his hearing aids don’t do anything.”
- “My doctor says there’s nothing they can do about ringing in the ears.”
- “My son says I should just stay inside because of my dizzy spells; he thinks nobody can help.”
These advice-givers had good intentions; however, there may be a specific reason their advice was negative. The golfing partner may have been fit improperly. The physician may be unaware of the latest strategies for tinnitus management. The son is likely not aware of the many possible causes for dizziness and the outcomes a correct diagnosis may bring.
Similarly, positive expectations can be unrealistic. If your elderly grandmother gets hearing aids for the first time, do not expect her to hear everything. Allow the audiology staff to explain the results and appropriate expectations. If she understands only half the words in the evaluation, do not expect her to understand all the speech at that birthday party in the loud restaurant. We have strategies to improve tinnitus, but don’t expect the noise to disappear in a week. If you have an inner ear balance disorder, do not expect to be competing in track meets a week after beginning therapy.
Expectations should be high, but they should be realistic. Listen to your friends and family members; but remember, your experience with professionals may not match the expectations that have been set up for you. At Clear Choice Hearing and Balance, we always include realistic expectations in treatment plans so you can make the most of your time with us. If you’re interested in learning more, we invite you to contact us, ask questions, or schedule an appointment. We have locations in both Greece and Brighton, and can be reached by calling 585-723-3440 or 585-342-4327. You can also reach us by sending an email through our contact page. As always, we wish to keep you on a clear path to good hearing and ear health.