WITH HEARING LOSS
by Laine Waggoner, MA, MS
quick guide to hearing loss is based upon my personal experience with using
hearing aids for a 45-year progressive hearing loss (now profound).
HEARING LOSS FACTS -
hearing loss is unique !
least 1 out of 10 people has a hearing loss, about 50% over age 55.
of people with hearing loss are between the working ages of 21 to 65.
usually wait an average of 5 to 7 years before seeking help.
of people who could benefit from hearing aids are not using them. Yet, a
hearing loss is more
than a hearing aid.
of every 1,000 school age children have hearing loss.
babies are born with hearing loss every
do not cure or increase hearing loss.
will NOT give you back your youthful hearing.
aids can be adjusted in many different ways.
do not adequately screen out all troublesome noise.
listening devices can supplement aids in many difficult situations.
TV and video enjoyment is enhanced by using FM or infrared amplifiers and
reading the TV closed captions.
TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT A HEARING LOSS:
a physician (or
ear specialist: ENT, otologist or otolaryngologist) to rule out possible medical
problems such as: compacted ear wax, allergies, tumors, drug interactions or
your hearing tested by a state licensed audiologist: with at least a masterís
degree in Audiology and a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American
Speech and Hearing Association, OR by a state licensed and Board
certified hearing instrument specialist. Get a copy of your audiogram. Make sure
you understand how it relates to what you can hear AND understand.
hearing aids, if prescribed:
require practice and patience for the best adjustment.
aids for both ears (if needed) for better speech understanding,
especially in noise.
an aid that is easy to handle and is suited to your lifestyle, dexterity and
on aids with a Tele-coil or T-switch to use with telephones and assistive
devices, which help with TV and in noisy situations.
FEW THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOURSELF:
to be a better listener. Practice, practice.
hearing loss support and discussion groups.
Lip reading (Speech
reading). Take Lip
reading classes or purchase videos.
your loved ones for
greater adjustment success.
Tell people tactfully how to communicate with you.
care of your health
to conserve your energy and reduce your fatigue.
Waggoner is the Director of HEAR (Hearing-loss
Education And Relationships), which conducts support
groups, facilitates seminars, and provides private coaching for individuals who
are experiencing hearing loss. Email:
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