10 Tips on How to Live with Hearing Loss
About 15 percent of American adults have trouble hearing —this translates to roughly 37.5 million people. Those who are 60 to 69 years old are much more likely to have hearing loss. In fact, 25 percent of those between 65 to 74 have difficulty hearing to the extent that it is disabling, according to information from the Hearing Language Association of America.
Even a mild hearing loss can have a profound effect on your lifestyle, transforming your relationships, your work environment and even the enjoyment of your everyday activities. To help you, we’ve compiled 10 tips on how to live with hearing loss.
10 Tips on How to Live with Hearing Loss
- Speak to your Raleigh Capitol ENT physician and audiologist about selecting the right hearing aid.
Not all hearing aids are alike. It may be tempting to purchase a hearing aid online, but no one can match the expertise and experience of a trained audiologist in our Raleigh office who can give you hearing tests to determine the exact cause of your hearing loss. There are also several options available, such as the bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA).
- Ask people to face you when they speak.
This will enable you to pick up on any visual cues concerning what is being discussed. It will also help you read facial expressions. (For more information, see number seven below.)
- Let your friends, coworkers, and relatives know what works and what doesn’t.
Even those with best intentions sometimes miss the mark. Often, people believe that simply shouting will solve the issue, which is not always the case. Explain to those you work with and your loved ones the best way to communicate with you. For example, you may not be able to hear clearly when someone is talking to you from another room, or perhaps crowded restaurants make you uncomfortable because it’s difficult to understand the conversation. Most people want to do what they can to help you!
- Consider an assistive listening device.
These are useful in areas where there is a lot of background noise, such as airports, restaurants, theatres and conference rooms. They work by amplifying the sound of the speaker, making it rise above any other sounds.
- When you’re out in public, be aware of situations that make it difficult to communicate.
For example, if you’re in a restaurant, tables near the kitchen, bar or even beside a large group of people would not be appropriate. Try to select the quietest area to establish communication.
- Turn off the TV when not watching it.
Cutting down background noise can help you hear others. It’s simply too easy to leave the TV on out of habit. You should also ask others to turn down the music when not actively listening to it.
- Be aware of non-verbal cues.
Did you know that a lot of communication depends upon body language? By training yourself to be more aware of gestures you can easily frame the context of what was being said.
- Don’t get frustrated.
It’s very easy to get frustrated when you’re having difficulty communicating with others. Realize that you are not alone, and hearing loss is very common — it’s the third most prevalent health condition among older adults, according to the Hearing Language Association of America.
- Take advantage of closed captioning services.
Closed captioning is available not only for the TV but it’s also available for your phone. Take advantage of any apps that are appropriate.
- Get your services from an audiologist, not a hearing aid dispenser.
There are several differences between an audiologist and a hearing aid dispenser (We go into detail in our previous blog post.) Essentially, a hearing aid dispenser does not have the extensive education and training that an audiologist receives.
Raleigh Capitol Ear Nose and Throat Offers Hearing Tests and Customized Care to Help You
Hearing loss is frustrating and has a long-lasting impact on your day-to-day life. Be proactive and protect your hearing. If your hearing tests show that you have a hearing loss, our certified, experienced audiologists will be glad to help you. Please contact us to schedule an appointment today.
Interested in More Information on Hearing Loss?
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Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose, and Throat is the area’s premiere physician-owned ENT practice with six convenient locations throughout Wake County. Our board-certified physicians have extensive experience in treating both common and complex cases to help adults and children alike. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us.
Hearing Language Association of America. “Hearing Loss Basics.” Online.