Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2013

How to Hear Better Now

Hand holds hourglass as reminder to hear better now

Hearing loss affects millions of Americans every year. Recent studies show that the risk of hearing loss is rising among younger and younger age groups. Here's what you can do to help yourself or a loved one hear better now.

1. Invest in New Technology—Hearing aid technology moves at an incredible pace. The technology of a few years ago is not as good as the hearing aids available today. Many consumers fail to realize just what a difference in their hearing these newer technologies can make. Big chain stores take advantage of this ignorance to sell older technologies to people with hearing loss. That's not to say people with hearing loss need to invest in the most expensive hearing aid with the greatest number of features. A base model hearing aid with today’s advanced and more natural sounding technologies will provide a huge difference for most people who have hearing aids a few years old and will help change and improve the quality of life of those who have yet to even treat their hearing loss with a hearing aid.

2. Workout Your Ears—Listening and playing music has been shown to sharpen the skills of musicians when it comes to identifying certain sounds and discerning speech in background noise. These abilities are thought to be able to be strengthened by anyone simply by listening to music. The listener’s natural inclination to take note of fluctuations within the music is thought to improve different aspects of hearing. Of course, if you have hearing loss stay away from earbuds and other "inside the ear" headphones that might cause more damage, and listen to your music at an acceptable level.

3. Avoid Social Isolation—Many people with hearing loss fear the mental exhaustion that can occur with being social and therefore shun their peers and family occasions for the less stressful isolation of their own home and familiar surroundings. This cutting off of oneself from the rest of the world can increase depression and have a profound affect on how well someone communicates with others. Loss of communication deeply affects a person with hearing loss, but remaining social sharpens those same communication skills.

4. Have Your Hearing Aid Serviced—Most audiologist include regular hearing aid cleaning and service, including upgrading software, as part of their package when you purchase hearing aids from them. Don’t let this valuable benefit go to waste. You’ve paid for this service with the cost of your hearing aid. Having your hearing aids cleaned and adjusted and programmed with the latest software or aligned with further increase in hearing loss can make all the difference in how you hear!

5. Use Assistive Listening Devices—Though many of today’s modern technologies do an excellent job, hearing aids don’t compensate for every challenging listening environment. In work, auditoriums, and at crowded restaurants having a boost on your hearing aid signal can allow you the comfort to relax and participate without having to strain to pay attention and comprehend. Today’s listening technologies are sleeker and better able to work with different brands of hearing aids. Ask your audiologist what technologies he/she recommends in order to find the best bang for your buck.

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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