5 Tips for Coping with Hearing Loss
A change in your hearing function can be frustrating and isolating, but there are ways to cope with hearing loss effectively. The variety of treatments which are now available means that more and more people can access effective hearing solutions and equipment. If you’re experiencing hearing loss or related issues, try our top tips:
1. Let people know
People who experience hearing loss don’t always tell other people what’s going on, and this can lead to them becoming socially-isolated and depressed. If people are aware of your hearing loss, they can take steps to communicate more clearly. In addition to this, making other people aware can help to reduce feelings of anxiety or embarrassment, particularly when people respond positively and with support.
2. Seek medical help
On average, older people experience hearing loss for around seven years before they seek help from a medical professional. Although hearing loss is often associated with aging, this doesn’t mean you should ignore it. A certified audiologist can diagnose the type of hearing loss you’re experiencing, the cause of it and the appropriate treatments available. With effective treatment, you may regain much of your hearing function, and hearing aids could greatly minimize the effect of your hearing loss.
An audiologist spends many years studying the ear, hearing loss and viable treatments, so they’re well-placed to provide the assistance you need. Adept at treating patients with mild, moderate or severe hearing loss, an audiologist will have the tools, techniques, and treatments to reduce the impact your hearing loss has on your day-to-day life.
3. Join support groups
There are plenty of local networks which offer support and advice to individuals with hearing loss. Similarly, there are online support groups which make it easy to connect with people, even if you don’t want to do so face-to-face.
Individuals may feel depressed, angry and frustrated when they begin to experience hearing loss, but discussing their fears, concerns, and emotions with other people in similar situations can have a positive effect.
If you feel unsure or wary of sharing your concerns with family members, friends or colleagues, talking to relative strangers may be a more freeing experience. People are sometimes reluctant to confide in family members or close friends; however supportive they try and be. Often, people with hearing loss feel that others don’t comprehend the situation or that they’re unable to understand the emotional impact hearing loss can have. Having the opportunity to connect with other people with hearing loss can provide a much-needed outlet and source of support.
4. Try lip reading
Some people try to rely on lip reading alone when they’re struggling to hear someone, but this can be a tiresome and exhausting task. Although lip reading can be beneficial, it is most effective when it’s paired with good quality hearing aids. While your hearing aids should enable you to pick up sounds more naturally and clearly, lip reading can help to confirm what’s being said and gain confidence in your new equipment. Although lip reading should never replace medical advice and treatment, it can be a useful tool to use alongside prescribed hearing solutions.
5. Obtain a diagnosis
If you don’t seek medical help for your hearing loss, you won’t know what’s causing it. Simply assuming that hearing loss is due to aging could be damaging to your health, particularly if another, unrelated condition is having a secondary effect on your ears or your hearing.
While most hearing loss isn’t caused by an unrelated serious condition, there are several health issues which affect the ears and hearing. In many cases, resolving the original health issue will restore your hearing too, so seeking a proper diagnosis is critically important.
Furthermore, a proper diagnosis will ensure any existing hearing function can be retained as much as is possible. In addition to this, once you know exactly what’s causing your hearing loss, you can take advantage of the hearing solutions available. Due to the range of technology on the market, manufacturers now tailor solutions to particular types of hearing loss, and you may benefit from a specific type of hearing aid. Even if your hearing cannot be restored to its full function, obtaining a diagnosis from an audiologist will give you the best chance of obtaining effective treatment and preventing further loss of hearing function.
To learn more about coping with hearing loss and the treatment available, contact The Hearing and Tinnitus Center at 303-534-0163 today.