Coping With Hearing Loss

Coping With Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can drastically change your daily living. Dining out with family and friends becomes uncomfortable as conversations seem muffled, participating in work meetings is challenging because it’s difficult to follow discussions, and attending sporting events or concerts makes it even worse.

Often people with hearing loss end up withdrawing from life and those they love, maybe not even realizing it, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Consider this advice from the Hearing Loss Association of America:

Acknowledge changes – Hearing loss can result from continuous exposure to loud sounds or a loud explosion. Sometimes hearing may improve slightly, but often the damage is permanent. Medical experts say the first step in dealing with hearing loss is to acknowledge the change and schedule a hearing test. During the exam, hearing levels will be tested and treatment options will be discussed.

Accept assistance – Researchers have identified advancements in hearing technology that can make life easier:

  • Hearing aids – Many people don’t want others to know they have a hearing problem, so they avoid getting hearing aids. However, today there are many small, nearly invisible designs available. If you or a loved one cannot hear well, hearing aids will significantly enhance quality of life.

About 20 percent of Americans, or 48 million people, have some degree of hearing impairment, and many employers offer hearing benefits to employees.

  • Cochlear implants – This small electronic device is surgically inserted behind the ear to stimulate the auditory nerve. Cochlear implants don’t replace normal hearing, but provide a range of sounds that make it easier to participate in meetings, enjoy conversations with friends or listen to music. Contact a hearing professional to schedule an evaluation to determine whether a cochlear implant is the right option.
  • Special devices – Many public places (like movie theaters) are required to provide assistive listening systems (like headphones) for people with hearing aids or cochlear implants. These special devices separate background noises making it easier to engage in conversations or watch the movie.

If you know someone with hearing loss, read this blog to learn five ways to improve communications.