If you or a loved one are among the millions of people living with hearing loss, you know that communicating and socializing with others can be a daily challenge. Fortunately, help may be available, from devices that treat specific types of hearing loss to simple lifestyle changes.
Devices and treatments can help
There are numerous treatment options for hearing loss, including those listed below, that can help someone living with hearing loss not only cope — but thrive. The most effective one for you will depend on your specific type of hearing problem, as well as personal preferences.
Hearing aids are available in different models, colors and styles, including wireless, with features suited to your lifestyle and type of hearing loss. Sometimes it's necessary to try different types of hearing aids to find the one that works best for your individual needs. Consider asking your doctor if you can have a trial period with a few different hearing aids. And keep in mind that your hearing aid may require a few fitting adjustments to achieve the best results.
Cochlear implants are used most often on young children and consist of three parts — a headpiece, speech processer and receiver. The cochlear technology can also help someone experiencing moderate to severe hearing loss, as well as people who have had little benefit from hearing aids.
Hearing assistive technology helps you hear sounds that you want to hear, while eliminating other noises around you. There are a growing number of personal listening products that fall into this category — including phone amplifying devices that display your conversation on a screen, TV-and auditorium-style listening devices, personal amplifiers and infrared headsets. Some devices make it easier to hear in a crowded room, while other personal amplifiers work best for one-on-one conversations.
Lifestyle tips for better communication
Living with hearing loss while trying to communicate with others can be a challenge. But simple lifestyle changes like these can help.
- Turn off other noise, like the TV or radio, when you want to have a conversation
- Face others when they're talking
- Repeat back important details to confirm that you understand what was said
- Explain to others that you have hearing loss
Keep in mind that there are different types of hearing loss and treatment options differ. Talk to your audiologist or hearing aid specialist to make sure your treatment method suits your type of hearing loss. They can also help you find the solutions that best suit your needs. Adjusting to a new device can take time, but the ability to communicate with ease will help you feel like yourself again.
Remember that you can use your CareCredit credit card to finance hearing care needs from hearing devices to preventive check-ups.* Use the Provider Locator to find an audiologist near you who accepts your CareCredit card.
*Subject to credit approval. Minimum monthly payments required. See carecredit.com for details.
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"Living with Hearing Loss," hearingloss.org, http://www.hearingloss.org/content/living-hearing-loss, accessed June 24, 2017
"Hearing Loss: Tips for Better Communication," by Stephanie Booth, WebMD, reviewed by Shelley Borgia, CCCA on May 10, 2017, http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/complementary-hearing-loss-strategies#1, accessed June 24, 2017
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