Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Coping with Hearing Loss

Couple jumps in rain to symbolize overcoming hearing loss.

Hearing is a remarkable ability and the result of delicate instruments within the ears working with larger parts to produce signals the brain interprets as sound. Coping with hearing loss can require a multipronged approach that includes therapy, listening strategies, hearing aids, and in difficult environments an assistive listening device.

Coping with hearing loss is often emotionally and physically challenging, but 83 percent of hearing aid users say the results are worth it. Today’s hearing aid technology can provide necessary relief from the silence of hearing loss, helping to avoid serious complications of untreated hearing loss—dementia, Alzheimer’s, and depression.

Hearing aids are precise and advanced instruments worn in or behind the ears. They not only raise the volume on sounds, but thanks to technologies like directional microphones they can focus on specific sounds, like your spouse speaking. Directional microphones work best in closer proximity to the speaker, so n larger rooms-- auditoriums, airports, classrooms, or boardrooms today’s digital hearing aids can be boosted with personal FM systems and Bluetooth technology.

Assistive Listening Devices Challenging listening environments sometimes require the use of an assistive listening device like an FM system. FM systems use a microphone worn or placed by the speaker—say in a boardroom or classroom that transmits directly to a receiver that relates the signal to the hearing aid (HA). This means that the subject under discussion is heard without background noise. FM devices of today are smaller and more manageable than the devices of the past.

FM devices of today are smaller and more manageable than the devices of the past.

Bluetooth Technology is the most recent advance in hearing aids. Bluetooth uses radio frequencies to allow devices to communicate wirelessly. Bluetooth communicates with a device that streams information to hearing aids. This device, usually an added expense, can be synced with ipods, televisions, GPS, and computers to name a few.

Lip Reading or Speech Reading is a linguistic exercise that once mastered strengthens communication abilities. This technique requires an individual to pay strict attention to the physical forming of words on the lips of a speaker. Special training can improve the success of this assistive listening technique.

What seems quite clear is that any journey requires navigational tools, like a compass, to make sure you don’t get lost. Dr. Michael Harvey, No Longer Who I Was But Not Yet Who I Will Be

Hearing Loss Therapy The stress of hearing loss includes the fear of not being able to react or respond appropriately in a given situation. This worry plays a role in how an individual views themselves and sometimes can cause anxiety based reactions that increase tension between loved ones. Complicating this tension is the common denial and depression associated with untreated hearing loss. As Dr. Michael Harvey points out in part two of his article, No Longer Who I Was But Not Yet Who I Will Be , "Know that parts of the journey must be done alone, but other parts must be done with someone else." If you're having trouble coping with your hearing loss there are resources online like ALDA and blogs like Speak UP Librarian, but also make sure to speak to a professional like Dr. Harvey who has experience helping with people with hearing loss.

Progress continues to be made in new technologies. These new advances, digital and otherwise, mean that more people with hearing loss are having an easier time finding solutions that allows them to continue regular activities. According to the Hearing is Living study, a global study conducted by Hear-the-World people who wear hearing aids are more active and social and happy than those who do not.

If you'd like to learn more about hearing loss, hearing heath, and hearing aids click HERE to DOWNLOAD our free guide to hearing health!

This guide will teach you:
▪ The 3 different types of hearing loss
▪ How to help a loved one hear you
▪ 8 different hearing aid styles
▪ Advances in digital and wireless hearing aid technology.


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