Serving Patients in Maryland and Delaware
Treatment Beyond Hearing Aids: Aural Rehabilitation for Hearing Loss Patients
After years of struggling with a hearing problem, you finally took the plunge and bought a hearing aid. After living with your device for a few years, you can’t deny that it’s made an improvement on your daily life; however, you still have difficulty hearing in certain situations. The hearing aid is great—and far better than life without one—but there still seems to be room for improvement.
Aural Rehabilitation Is an Important Part of Treatment for Hearing Loss
Hearing aids can be purchased without a prescription, making it easy for patients to self-correct their conditions by simply writing a check. However, the most effective treatment for hearing loss involves a comprehensive understanding of your specific condition and choosing the best methods to improve your life as a whole. The American Speech Language Hearing Association refers to this practice as aural rehabilitation.
Aural rehabilitation is a comprehensive, personal process, and often involves the following steps:
- Diagnosis. There are many different hearing correction devices on the market, and each will offer advantages based on your type and extent of hearing loss. Unfortunately, many patients will choose a hearing aid without getting their conditions diagnosed first, causing frustration with the device that was “supposed” to cure their problems. By undergoing a hearing test and getting a proper diagnosis of your condition, you will have the best possible chance of choosing the right hearing aid, saving yourself the wasted money and hassle of attempting to adjust to a device that isn’t right for you.
- Family involvement. Hearing is a vital part of communication, so hearing loss sufferers will often notice a loss of interaction with friends and family members. Involving family members in the hearing restoration process improves understanding of your condition and helps those closest to you communicate with you more effectively. Some of the miscommunication occurs because older people process words at a slower rate than young people, making it hard for some hearing loss sufferers to understand children or teenagers. Aural rehabilitation examines potential problems in both hearing and processing of speech to get you and your family members on the same level in a conversation.
- A hearing device. Now that your hearing condition has been fully evaluated, you are ready to choose a hearing aid device. Keep in mind that if you have been struggling with hearing loss for a while, the sudden ability to hear soft noises, such as the sound of your own breathing, can be unsettling…even overwhelming. There may be several devices that could work for your condition, so you should choose a vendor that will allow you to try on multiple devices until you find the one you like best.
- Patience. Many people are discouraged after they are fitted with a device simply because they are not told that it can take time to adjust to life with a hearing aid. The longer you have suffered from an uncorrected hearing problem, the longer your brain will need to remember how to process certain sounds. You will have to adapt to the sounds of birds chirping, wind blowing, and even your loved ones’ voices. It may be helpful to keep a journal as you’re learning how to listen again.
- Assistive devices. If you have been wearing your hearing aid for several years, but are still unhappy with the quality or ability of your device, there may be a simple solution. There are many technological accessories that can work with your hearing aid to make daily life easier and more enjoyable. If you have an active lifestyle, there may be sport adaptations that can allow you to hear clearly while running, biking, or even swimming. There are also wireless and Bluetooth connections that stream sounds from phones, televisions, and radios directly into your hearing aid, allowing you to easily hear all of the devices in your home.
Proper Diagnosis and Hearing Loss Treatment Keeps Your Brain and Body Healthy
It is important that those with hearing loss to treat their conditions early and often. A hearing problem can affect your self-esteem and social life, but can also have an impact on your brain function. Without the information coming in from our ears, the brain’s processing ability slows down, placing it at a greater risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia later in life.
Proper treatment of a hearing condition begins with a simple hearing test. Early treatment makes a big difference in the length of your recovery, so make an appointment today at the Sound Advice Hearing Aid Center nearest you! Call (410) 202-8517 to see how easy it can be to hear again.