Monday, July 4, 2022

How To Cope With Hearing Loss

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Steps family members can take to cope with hearing loss

Many people get nervous because theyre uncertain how to act when they meet someone who has a special need that goes unaddressed. Dont let their imagination run wild instead, address your hearing condition with them in an easy and straightforward manner. Demonstrating that youre comfortable talking about your hearing challenges helps others relax.

If youre comfortable doing so, encourage others to ask questions about your condition. If all else fails, try a little humor. Laughter breaks down barriers between people and it makes others less hesitant to try again to have a conversation with you. Try a joke like:

So I told my hearing specialist as he looked into my left ear , I think Ive got single-sided hearing loss!Ok, she said. What are the symptoms?I looked at her a little confused. Its a popular TV show with a kid named Bart. But whats that got to do with my problem?

Not only are jokes a great ice-breaker, but they can also help others remember more about your condition. For example, if you incorporate which ear you cant hear with , theyll more easily remember which side to stand on.

Do You Have A Hearing Loss

Here are some questions that can help you determine whether your hearing needs to be formally tested:

  • Do you feel frustrated speaking with friends and family members, straining to hear what they say?
  • Do family and friends need to raise their voices or repeat themselves when talking with you?
  • Do others complain that you keep the volume on the TV set too loud?
  • Do you have hearing difficulties when conversing on the telephone?
  • Do you feel that hearing limitations are interfering with your social life?
  • When ambient noise is present, such as in restaurants, do you have trouble hearing what others are saying?
  • Do you get into arguments with family members because of an apparent hearing loss?

For a referral to a certified audiologist in your community or information about hearing loss, contact the ASHA at 638-8255 or www.asha.org.

Find And Remove Triggers

One of the biggest challenges for most tinnitus patients is dealing with difficult spikes. Tinnitus rarely remains constant. When it spikes in volume or intensity, or changes in quality, pitch or tone, it can suddenly become much more difficult to cope, especially for people with hearing loss.

It doesnt help that there are a large number of possible triggers specific lifestyle, dietary, and environmental factors that can exacerbate tinnitus that vary greatly from person to person.

Its also very hard to identify the things that trigger your tinnitus because it doesnt always happen immediately, and there are too many variables to consider when trying to make sense of it all. For example, if something you eat for breakfast spikes your tinnitus six hours later in the afternoon, you arent going to just leap to that conclusion. Too many other things happened in the interim.

But you can start to find these connections by journaling and keeping track of your diet, lifestyle, and environment in an organized way. This way you can compare difficult days and moments to look for patterns. And when you identify your own unique triggers, you can make an effort to avoid the specific things that spike your tinnitus.

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Visit a Hearing Care Professional

If a close friend or family member is impacted, try suggesting they visit their hearing care professional. You may even offer to go with them. If you have a hearing loss, set up an appointment with your hearing care professional and ask someone you trust to go with you. Sharing the experience of going to the audiologist with a person you trust may help you feel more comfortable and supported when communicating with your hearing care professional about your hearing health. Your hearing care professional can then offer guidance on how to improve your or your family members situation.

Read more: Why you should bring family or a friend to your audiology appointment

Explore Different Modes of Communication

When you have hearing loss, there are different options for modes of communication. If you wear hearing technology, there is more that you can do than just wearing it and entering different hearing environments. There is also hearing rehab. Whether you have worn hearing technology for years or are new to it, hearing rehab can help train your brain to use your hearing technology and improve upon problem hearing areas.

Sign language is another mode of communication. Sign language is a beautiful language and there are many opportunities to learn sign language. People use sign language as their primary language, but sign language can also be used in addition to English or another language.

Be a part of the community

    Communicating With People With Hearing Loss

    How to Begin Coping with Hearing Loss

    Successful communication requires the efforts of all people involved in a conversation. Even when the person with hearing loss utilizes hearing aids and active listening strategies, it is crucial that others involved in the communication process consistently use good communication strategies, including the following:

    UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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    How To Cope With Hearing Loss

    If you notice signs of hearing loss, talk to your doctor. If you have trouble hearing, you should:

    • Let people know you have a hearing problem.
    • Ask people to face you and to speak more slowly and clearly. Also, ask them to speak louder without shouting.
    • Pay attention to what is being said and to facial expressions or gestures.
    • Let the person talking know if you do not understand what he or she said.
    • Ask the person speaking to reword a sentence and try again.
    • Find a good location to listen. Place yourself between the speaker and sources of noise and look for quieter places to talk.

    The most important thing you can do if you think you have a hearing problem is to seek professional advice. Your family doctor may be able to diagnose and treat your hearing problem. Or, your doctor may refer you to other experts, like an otolaryngologist or an audiologist .

    Prepare Coping Strategies For Social Activities

    There is inevitably background noise and chatter in most socialsituations and there may also be music – all thingsthat anyone with hearing loss finds particularly troublesome, particularly as you want to hear what people are saying. There are ways to help you cope, but it may be that some invitations will have to be declined – see socialgatherings. Preparing in advance is essential.

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    Maintain Your Self Esteem And The Respect Of Others

    Even with the best hearing aids and other aids, hearing loss can be isolating and demoralising. So keep remindingyourself that you are as valuable an individual as the nextperson – because you are!

    It is important, though, to educatethe people around you about their attitudes to hearing loss.

    It is also important to play your part by accepting your limitations and not depressing others bybeing disgruntled and upset all the time.

    Common Signs Of Hearing Loss

    Coping with Hearing Loss | Ask the Expert

    Hearing loss comes in many forms, from mild loss to total loss. Here are some common signs to hearing loss you could be experiencing:

    • Having trouble hearing over the phone
    • Needing to turn up the TV volume
    • Often ask people to repeat what they are saying
    • Find it hard to follow conversations with multiple people

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    Do You Hear What I Hear

    Your primary care doctor can test your hearing in her office with a portable handheld sound-production device that generates tones of various frequencies. If you show signs of possible hearing loss, you probably will be referred to an audiologist, who is trained in assessing hearing disorders and fitting hearing aids.

    The available diagnostic tools are more sophisticated now than in the past, says Friedman, and are better able to identify hearing loss, including the site of any damage . The audiologist will perform a comprehensive battery of tests.

    Once hearing loss is identified, people in their 40s and 50s are frequently intent on “fixing” the problem. “Baby boomers have different expectations about their hearing loss,” says Loavenbruck. “Unlike many older people, they’re less likely to say, ‘It’s part of getting older I’m just going to live with it.’ They want to take care of the problem. I find that these younger people are much more likely to say, ‘I’m willing to wear a hearing aid if it will help me avoid the communication difficulties that annoy me,’ whereas years ago, there was a terrible stigma attached to hearing loss.”

    Continued

    Suggest A Visit To The Audiologist And Have Your Hearing Tested Too

    Be a motivating force in the life of a friend or loved on with untreated hearing loss. Recommend a visit to your local hearing center and/or Audiologist for a routine hearing test. Most of the time, standard hearing test are offered at little to no cost. Audiologists agree that having a second person with you during the hearing screening is very beneficial. The other person becomes a valuable point of reference to reduce potential nerves and help serve as anchor.

    A loved one isnt just your significant other, it can also include your parents, grandparents, or even just a friend youre looking out for. If theres someone in your life that is having trouble with their hearing, encourage them to get a professional opinion from a specialist. At the very least, you can shower your loved one with praise, positive affirmations, and TLC.

    You can help your loved one actively take steps to improve their hearing that will make a lasting difference in their overall quality of life. One of the first ways would be recommending the use of hearing aids. Modern technology has come a long way in helping others take back their hearing and is only getting better.

    Scheduling a visit to a hearing clinic is the first step. Make the effort together. Your local audiologist or hearing aid professional is equipped to handle and explain the objections and hesitations your loved one may have.

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    Stages Of Hearing Loss

    Hearing Link volunteer Sylvia Irvine-Robertson writes

    People diagnosed with serious or terminal illnesses or facing disability for whatever reason experience the same stages as those facing hearing loss. However, hearing loss is an invisible disability and there is considerable stigma within society about it. Hearing people do not equate hearing loss with other forms of loss and therefore have difficulty in understanding the process hearing loss sufferers go through.

    Dont Do All The Talking

    Coping with Tinnitus Using Hearing Aids (Guest Post ...

    Hearing loss can be draining. A person with hearing loss has to work harder to understand what youre saying and you would be surprised at the mental exertion involved. If a conversation is lasting a long time, take a break. If you find that youve been rambling on for a while, stop and let the other person talk for a bit.

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    Your Audiologist In Katy Recommends The Following:

  • Remove tinnitus triggers. Tinnitus is rarely constant it often comes in spikes that vary in volume and intensity, catching you off guard and making it more difficult to cope especially when you also have hearing loss. Starting a journal and keeping track of diet, lifestyle and environment can help you identify triggers that worsen your tinnitus. Once you know the causes, you can take steps to reduce or eliminate those factors.
  • Your audiologist in Katy can help with more tips and strategies for coping with tinnitus and hearing loss.

    Reach Out And Touch Base

    You are not alone.

    There are multiple blogs and publications entirely dedicated to the complexities of hearing loss, from lifestyle to mental health. More importantly, there are also tons of highly-active support groups and communities. With just a quick Google search, you can potentially connect with an entire worldwide network of people facing the same challenges and struggles as you â people who can help you better understand what you’re going through, and provide you with a wealth of coping advice.

    More importantly, they can validate how you feel. That there are no rules about how to process or cope with tragedy, and everyone has their own methods. Although we’d advise against isolating yourself, you are allowed to be emotional.

    You are allowed to express anger, frustration, fear, and whatever else you’re feeling. Your emotions are valid, and everyone overcomes adversity at their own pace. You need not rush yourself.

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    Why Cope When You Dont Have To

    Every person with hearing loss has used one or more coping methods during their life. Weve all been there, felt at times that we need to, but in the end, life is so much richer and fuller with hearing aids. I had to learn the hard way it took me more than 10 years of suffering through coping methods before I tried treating my hearing loss. And now, after three years of hearing in meetings, laughing when I hear the joke, actually engaging in conversations and making positive memories instead of embarrassing moments, I can confidently say that no coping method is worth it.

    How You Can Help

    WEBINAR: Communication/Coping Strategies for Accommodating Hearing Loss

    If you suspect that your loved one has hearing loss, encourage them to be vocal about it. Many seniors resign themselves to isolation when they suspect that their hearing is failing. If they know that they have a supportive community who is willing to work and spend the time to learn how to better communicate to them, it can go leagues in making that senior feel supported.

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    Coping With A Loved One With Hearing Loss

    Presbycusis is a gradual loss of hearing that may come with age. It can be caused by changes in the inner ear, auditory nerve, middle ear, or outer ear. It can also be caused by loud noise exposure, heredity, head injury, infection, illness, some prescription drugs, and circulation problems, including high blood pressure.

    Tinnitus, which is also common in seniors, causes a ringing, hissing, or roaring sound in the ears. It can be the result of exposure to loud noise or certain medicines, and can accompany any type of hearing loss or certain medicines, and can accompany any type of hearing loss.

    If a senior has not been diagnosed with hearing loss, but it is obvious that it is present, referral to a specialist may be necessary. Start with a visit to his or her regular doctor. The doctor may then refer the senior to an otolaryngologist, a physician who specializes in ear, nose, and throat or an audiologist, who is a health professional who conducts tests to define hearing loss. Sometimes the two work together in an office.

    A senior with hearing loss may struggle with hearing alarms or telephones, or understanding speech on TV or radio may be unaware that someone is talking or whispering and may have a lack of understanding when talking on the phone, if several people are in a large room or many people are talking, or when a speakers face cant be seen.

    Psychological and Social Implications

    How to Support a Senior with Hearing Loss

    When you speak:

    Tips For Coping With Hearing Loss

    A change in your hearing function can be frustrating and isolating, but there are ways to cope with hearing loss effectively. The variety of treatments which are now available means that more and more people can access effective hearing solutions and equipment. If youre experiencing hearing loss or related issues, try our top tips:

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    Look Up Hearing Loss Support Groups In Your Community Or Online

    Both on Facebook and in local communities, there are groups that help others learn to accept and live with their hearing loss. If your friend or loved one is experiencing feelings of social isolation or depression related to hearing loss, these groups can be a helpful outlet. If you recognize your friend or loved one shutting themselves off from the world more often, make sure they know they are not alone and have people who can share what theyre going through.

    Learn What It’s Like To Live With Hearing Loss

    How Can I Cope With Hearing Loss?

    Learning more about hearing loss willincrease your patience.

    It’s well knownand maybe you’ve experienced itthat hearing loss can put a strain on relationships, causing stress, hurt feelings and frustration over miscommunication. If you sometimes get frustrated, one good thing to do is learn more about what hearing loss is like. Having empathy and being able to relate to what your loved one or friend is experiencing with hearing loss may help increase your patience.

    Besides having a good conversation in which you ask questions to better understand their experience, you can use technology to learn even more. There are several sites that will simulate a hearing loss so you can get a clear picture of what the world sounds like for a person with hearing loss.

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    Give Yourself A Massage

    Professional massages are a fantastic way to reduce stress and cope with tinnitus, but they are expensive and not something you can do at the drop of a hat. Instead, you can practice trigger point massage on yourself with a lacrosse ball or foam roller. Here are a few helpful links to get you started:

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