How to keep your independence with hearing loss?

How to keep your independence with hearing loss?

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Hearing loss doesn’t affect only seniors, as this physical condition is the third one on the list of conditions that affect people no matter their age. There are some differences, however, as people that are born with hearing loss will have different ways of coping with the condition as opposed by those that develop hearing loss on a later date. Additionally, when hearing loss occurs gradually with age, not many people will know what they have on their disposal so as to make their life easier.

The strongest predictor of hearing loss with adults between 20 and 69 years of age, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) is, you guessed it - age. Even though this usually affects both ears at the same time, the gradual decrease in hearing might make it difficult to notice at first. Although no one is happy when they get affected by hearing loss, the negative effects might have been a bit over exaggerated, and while some lifestyle adjustments will need to be done, it shouldn’t necessarily mean you can’t be happy or independent. In this article, we have four recommendations that will help you better come with hearing loss:

1. Inform people of your physical condition

If people don’t know you well, they probably won’t be able to recognize that you have hearing loss, and even if you tell some, the first things that might come to their mind is that they should simply talk louder. This is one of the most common misconceptions, and can be rather irritating, and especially so if you’re equipped with hearing aids. When you need someone to repeat what they said, you should also provide some instructions on how they should communicate with you. Some rather simple things are of great help, like better pronunciation or facing you when talking.

2. Make some home improvements

While not hearing the doorbell isn’t something you should worry about too much, the smoke detector is something you very much should. It all depends on the severity of your hearing loss, but some home modification will have to be made around your house. Some of those include altering safety alarms like fire alarms and smoke alarms in a way they also have some visual elements like lights that will make sure you notice the alarm should you not hear it. The alarm clock should not only include some louder volume, but you should also consider buying some alarm clocks that have vibrations or lights, as they are much more reliable than relying on sound alone.

3. Maintain your hearing aids

While obtaining a hearing aid can make a big difference in your life, you shouldn’t expect it to reverse or stop your hearing loss. As it is with every device, hearing aids will require some proper maintenance, and taking some appropriate measures to keep your devices clean and taken care of will lead to some upkeep. Further on, as our hearing deteriorates, you will need to make a visit to an audiologist that will make proper adjustments to your hearing aid and provide some advice. The maintenance of your hearing aid may include recalibration or tweaking when they start to cause static noise or stop filtering sounds.

4. Technology is your friend

When it comes to technology, there are plenty of options at your disposal. Public areas are starting to incorporate more and more services that include audio devices, closed-captions, and sound enhancements. One such option is Hearing Loops, which provides direct broadcasts to hearing aids via wireless connection to the telecoils that are present in almost every hearing aid and cochlear implants. This particular technology is gaining increased popularity as it is easily available.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Darko Siracevski

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