Hearing loss affects about one in every four people in the world. Although most hearing loss is permanent, it can be managed with the help of various options to improve the quality of life and ensure those with the condition live a full and productive life. While there are many ways to address partial and permanent hearing loss, technology and environmental measures are at the forefront of helping those with the condition adjust to and manage it.

Causes of Hearing Loss

It is important to understand the cause of your specific hearing loss to find solutions that would work best. The two main causes are age and noise. It is estimated that over 40% and 70% of people aged over 50 and 70, respectively, have some hearing loss.

Recent statistics show that the number of young people with hearing loss is also increasing, with the main culprit being noise. The increasing use of headphones and earphones and loud music in entertainment spots can contribute to degraded hearing or tinnitus. The latter is a constant ringing or sound in one or both years.

While there is little audiologists can do to prevent the progression of age-related hearing loss, they provide concrete advice to help with noise-related hearing loss. Reducing the noise levels around you and using hearing protection in areas with loud noises are the best ways to prevent it or slow its progress.

Understanding Aural Rehabilitation Options

Once you have hearing loss, you can readjust to life by undergoing aural rehabilitation. This process helps you overcome the challenges associated with hearing loss, with rehabilitation options differing between individuals due to the different causes and presentations of hearing loss.

Using Hearing Aids

Hearing aids have advanced tremendously in recent years, providing better function, comfort, and designs. They work by amplifying the surrounding sounds to make them louder and clearer. They use algorithms and other technologies to analyse surrounding sounds at any time and adjust them to your specific needs.

Before getting one or a pair, get a hearing assessment first. The audiologist will conduct tests to check for signs of hearing structure damage and determine the sound frequencies you have trouble hearing. Once they have the results, they will talk to you about the different options available. They will also advise you on the best hearing aids for your specific situation, ensuring they fit your needs and lifestyle.

The audiologist will then advise you on how to take care of your hearing aids and use them in different situations to get the most out of them. They will also show you how to connect it to assistive technologies and the devices you use every day, such as music players, phones, TVs and computers.

Augmenting Your Communication Skills

Communication involves much more than verbal skills. Once you have your hearing aids, you will need to retrain your brain to interpret sounds you may not have heard in a long time. Getting the right support from aural rehabilitation service providers will help you with these adjustments.

You will also need to learn to interpret the actions of others to fully understand what they are saying. Humans use gestures, body language and facial expressions to communicate, most times unknowingly, and knowing how to interpret these forms of communication will be helpful.

Lip-reading can help you understand what sounds look like as they are said. Hearing people do not pay attention to this, but those with hearing loss need to so they can complement their understanding of other people. Lip-reading can take some time to master, especially considering the many words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings.

Use Assistive Technologies

In addition to hearing aids, numerous other assistive technologies are available to people with hearing loss. A common one is a flashing doorbell. These come with flashing lights installed so you always know when someone is at the door.

Another is vibrating alarm clocks. These have stronger vibrations than you typically get on mobile devices because they are built specifically for people with hearing loss.

Get Support

Some people with hearing loss feel alone because they have lost an important part of themselves. Support groups can be crucial in helping you realise you are not alone and that there is help when you are feeling stressed or depressed about the situation.

Support group members can also help you deal with the daily challenges associated with the condition, in addition to helping you learn new skills such as lip-reading or understanding body language better.

You can find numerous support groups online. These have the distinct advantage of helping you stay anonymous if you want to. Your audiologist can also suggest groups they know will be a great fit.

Partial or permanent hearing loss affects how those with the condition interact with the world or other people. Adjusting to life after hearing loss can be a challenge, but it does not have to be because numerous options and strategies are already available. Getting support from others with hearing loss, talking to your audiologist, getting hearing aids and learning to communicate differently can also help.