Seven Tips on How to Live with Hearing Loss
Close to 40 million people in the United States, or about 15 percent, suffer from at least mild hearing loss. And about 25 percent of people over the age of 65 have difficulty hearing to the point that it makes their lives more difficult. If you suffer from even a mild form of hearing loss, here are seven tips to help you!
1 - Visit your Doctor and Audiologist
The first step in dealing with hearing loss is visiting your doctor. They will help to diagnose your hearing loss and recommend potential treatment solutions. These treatments may involve cleaning wax from your ears, removing a foreign object, prescribing antibiotics, hearing aids, or cochlear implants.
2 - Let People Know How Best to Communicate with You
Let those people that you see the most know about your hearing difficulties. Most people will work with you to overcome difficulties. If people are facing you when they speak to you, you'll have an easier time with reading lips and picking up on visual cues to discern what they're saying. Additionally, you can let people know if you have trouble hearing when there's substantial background noise or if they're trying to talk to you from another room.
3 - Try your Doctor's Recommended Assistive Listening Device
If your doctor or audiologist recommends an assistive listening device, don't be afraid to give it a shot! You may not realize how much it can improve your hearing until you try.
4 - Start Using Subtitles and Closed Captioning
Most television shows and movies have subtitles which will help you to follow along, even if you suffer from severe hearing loss.
5 - Don't get too Frustrated
One of the most difficult parts of hearing loss is dealing with the frustration. Hearing loss is very common, especially amongst the elderly, and you're not alone. Dealing with hearing loss is a process and you'll need to learn what treatment methods work best for you and how to work with other people to make it less of a hassle.
6 - Start to Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Cues
When you're speaking with people, start to pay attention to how they use their hands, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues to communicate. You can even begin to work on lip reading to help you determine what people are saying.
7 - Be Aware of Background Noise and How it Affects Your Hearing
For a lot of people with hearing loss, background noise severely diminishes their ability to hear what people are saying. Try to either reduce the amount of background noise, or avoid it entirely if possible. Turn off the television when not watching it, avoid loud restaurants, or consider other methods of controlling/avoiding background noise to improve your hearing abilities.
Hearing loss may seem to those unaffected like it wouldn't be that big of a deal. But it can be very frustrating and severely impact your ability to communicate with others and enjoy your normal everyday life. If hearing loss is affecting your ability to communicate, schedule a visit with your doctor or audiologist to help you on your journey to living with hearing loss.