Though hearing loss is a common problem in the United States, when it happens to you, it can still be difficult to cope with. Use these tips to minimize the negative effects it can have on your life.
1. Acknowledge the Reality
When you learn that you have hearing loss, whether due to noise exposure, genetics, age, or another cause, it can be difficult to come to terms with your new disability. It isn’t easy to do, but the sooner you come to terms with the situation that you are in, the sooner you can start taking proactive measures to minimize the impact it has on your life.
You don’t have to like it, but you must find a way to move on and cope.
2. Wear Hearing Aids
One of the most effective measures for dealing with hearing loss is to use hearing aids. Today’s hearing aids can help you hear better. Due to advancements in digital technology, there is now a wide range of features to suit your unique hearing requirements, lifestyle, and needs.
Choose a professional, experienced audiologist who will work with you to discuss your options, select the hearing aids that best fit your needs, and have them professionally fitted to ensure optimal hearing performance.
Wearing hearing aids is a critical first step in coping with hearing loss. Hearing aids will allow you to hear better by amplifying sounds, increasing speech recognition, and reducing background noise. Though they won’t cure your hearing loss, they will help significantly improve your quality of life.
Once you start hearing better thanks to your hearing aids, you may notice that you find joy in participating in social activities again. You may see your relationships with loved ones improve, and your job performance, satisfaction, and earning potential may also improve.
3. Consider Hearing Assistive Technology
Though your new hearing aids will be able to improve your hearing abilities in a wide variety of environments, you may still have trouble hearing in certain situations, such as when you’re listening to music, watching television, or talking on the phone.
Hearing assistive technology can expand the functionality of your hearing aids by effectively separating the sounds that you want to hear from the background noise that you want to ignore.
Some hearing assistive devices that you can consider, with the help of recommendations from your audiologist, include captioned phone systems and amplified phones, alarm-type devices for wake-up and warning equipment, and speaker systems to better hear what’s going on when you’re watching TV.
4. Help Others Better Communicate with You
Though many people do not want to bring attention to their hearing difficulties, explaining the situation to others will help improve communication. Remember, there is no shame in having trouble hearing.
Set the stage effectively before having conversations: Tell others how best to talk to you, such as sitting in front of you or to your “good” side. Pick a spot that will improve your hearing abilities, such as a quiet area or one close to a speaker. And anticipate trouble situations and how to minimize them ahead of time.
In addition, when someone is speaking to you, do your part by paying greater attention and concentrating on the person talking, looking for visual clues, and asking for written cues if required.
It’s also important to admit when you’re having trouble hearing someone who is speaking to you, to ask for discussions later if you are tired and having trouble concentrating, and to thank the person for trying.
5. Ensure Emergency Preparedness
Emergency preparedness consists of thinking ahead of time about which disasters might occur in your area and ensuring that you’re adequately prepared if such a situation were to occur. If you have hearing loss, emergency preparedness can be trickier, but not impossible. Taking the right precautionary steps can help you feel more confident, and keep you safe in the event of a disaster.
Investing in alert-type hearing assistive technology can ensure that you’re notified of an emergency. Not only should you prepare the essentials as well, such as a first-aid kit, water, and non-perishables, but you should also ensure that you have the equipment required to properly communicate with emergency support staff.
If you need help coping with hearing loss, request an appointment with Associated Audiologists to discuss coping strategies, devices, and technologies that can help.