If your hearing is on the decline, you have begun to see how expansively it can impact your day to day life. We often take our normally functioning body parts for granted, and don’t realize how valuable they were until they start failing us.
Coping with hearing loss can be particularly challenging, but fortunately, there are various ways to make things easier.
A hearing aid is the most obvious way to cope with hearing loss, and it may seem so obvious it isn’t worth mentioning. But, it is important to know there are many different types of hearing aids, and many people end up buying the wrong ones. You should do a lot of research before purchasing a hearing aid. You want to make sure you get the one that best suits your needs. You want to inquire about additional technologies that help it work better. You want to make sure it is properly fitted. Make sure you are working with a certified hearing professional, who is following the best practices guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Audiology and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT)
Assistive listening devices help hearing aids function better by separating sounds you want to hear from extraneous background noise, and allowing you to hear people speaking more clearly when they are a distance from you.
There are devices available to assist in many other situations as well, such as closed-caption phones, amplified phones, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that emit different types of sounds or that vibrate or have visual alerts.
Communicating with others can be a particularly stressful aspect of hearing loss. But, there are ways to help you communicate more effectively. First and foremost, inform others of your hearing troubles, and let them know any tips to best communicate with you. Pick a good spot to talk that will help make things easier, such as a quiet corner with good lighting.
You must do your part as well. Make sure you are paying close attention and are concentrating on the speaker. Be on the lookout for visual cues. Don’t interrupt, but let the conversation flow to allow for filling in the blanks and getting a better idea of what is being discussed.
Don’t be afraid to admit when you missed something or you didn’t understand what was being said. If you are finding it hard to carry on a conversation, ask to have the discussion later.
Try to maintain a sense of humor about the situation, and work on being relaxed and positive.
You’re Not Alone
Coping with any sort of condition is easier when you connect with others who are going through the same thing. You can share your struggles, and get some great advice and coping strategies. Find a local chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America to meet with others like you.