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What Interventions Are Available For Patients With Hearing Loss

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Learning To Communicate: Deaf Children And Children With Hearing Loss

Deaf awareness – tools and techniques for communicating with people with hearing loss.

The most important thing for your childs development, and for your relationship with your child, is being able to communicate.

If your child is deaf or hard of hearing, they might use spoken language, sign language or a combination of sign and spoken language to communicate.

Many families choose to teach their child to both speak and sign, regardless of whether the child can use spoken language. If this is your familys choice, you and the rest of your family need to learn sign language too.

You can ask the health professionals who are caring for you and your child for more information and support to learn sign language.

Surgical Treatment For Hearing Loss

Some types of hearing loss hearing loss can be treated with special types of surgery. TriHealth audiologists work together with trained ear, nose and throat physicians to treat patients who would benefit from advanced technologies, such as surgical implants, to treat hearing loss. Below we have provided some information to help you better understand some of these surgical options.To be evaluated for your individualized plan of care for hearing loss, please schedule an appointment with a TriHealth ENT at 513 246 7010.

Digital Cell Phones And Hearing Aid Use

A common complaint of hearing aid users is the inability to use cell phones, particularly digital cell phones, with their hearing aids, or that they experience interference when trying to do so. Digital hearing aids are being continually updated to provide shielding from this interference. Cell phone technology also is changing. In fact, in 2003, the Federal Communications Commission developed a report requiring a number of future actions by manufacturers and service providers to make digital wireless phones that are capable of being used effectively with hearing aids.

In the meantime, there are many strategies that will improve listening when using cell and land based telephones with hearing aids. For more information, please see Strategies for Using Your Cell Phone with Your Hearing Aids.

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Treatment Options For Hearing Loss

Learn how you can get second opinions without having to leave home.

The goal of University of Chicago Medicine’s otology and neurotology experts is to treat your condition effectively and efficiently in order to enhance or restore hearing. We know how important it is to recognize that each patient is unique, so we are committed to providing individualized treatment plans that are tailored to complement the cause and severity of your hearing loss. By combining medical and surgical interventions, we offer the best outcomes and improve your quality of life. Treatment may include one or more of the following:

Hearing Loss And Cognitive Impairment

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Over the past few years, there has been a great deal of interest in the association between hearing loss and cognitive impairment, with studies indicating that hearing loss and cognitive decline are independently associated . It can be difficult to differentiate between the two, as they have a number of similar characteristics.

People with dementia may exhibit signs of confusion, depression, frustration and aggression . People with hearing loss may give unusual answers to questions or go off on a tangent, which can be interpreted as a sign of confusion. They may also become frustrated, aggressive, socially isolated or depressed because of their hearing difficulties they are experiencing. It is easy to see how hearing loss might be mistaken for dementia and vice versa.

With both conditions, it is crucial to get the correct diagnosis so the appropriate management strategy can be implemented. For patients who have both dementia and hearing loss, hearing aids can be useful to improve communication, and have an overall positive impact on care .

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Aural Rehabilitation And Listening And Auditory Communication Enhancement

Unfortunately, hearing aids will not correct hearing loss or restore hearing to normal levels. However, the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices along with auditory training can help maximize hearing abilities. Training may consists of:

  • Audiologic rehabilitation classes
  • Learning good listening strategies
  • Establishing guidelines for communicating with those around you

In addition, UCSF Audiology researchers are leaders in the quest to develop home based therapies for enhancing listening ability.

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.

Sign Language And Lip Reading

If you’ve been deaf from birth or you develop severe hearing loss later in life, it can affect your ability to communicate with other people.

But you can learn different methods of communicating that can be used instead of, or as well as, spoken English.

2 of the main methods are:

  • lip-reading where you learn to watch a person’s mouth movements while they’re speaking to understand what they’re saying
  • sign language a visual way of communicating using hand gestures, facial expressions and body language

For more information and help, see:

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What If I Also Have Tinnitus

It’s not unusual to experience tinnitus when you start to develop hearing loss as you get older. In fact, it can be one of the first signs of hearing loss. Fortunately, today’s hearing aids often come with what are known as “tinnitus masking features” to help tune out the ringing in your ears. A host of other tinnitus treatment tools are available to you, as well. It’s crucial to talk to your hearing care provider about your tinnitus.

Quality Of Life After Rehabilitation With Hearing Aids

Preventing hearing loss from chemotherapy

The benefits and satisfaction of using hearing aids among hearing-impaired elderly people have been explored in some studies.,

Joore and colleagues demonstrated that new hearing aid users experienced less anxiety and depression following hearing aid use. Mulrow et al also reported a reduction in depression among hearing aid users, as measured by a geriatric depression scale. In addition, Joore et al and Stark and Hickson reported improvements in selected domain scores on the SF-36 as a result of hearing aid use.,

In a large, multi-site study, McArdle et al administered both generic and hearing-related QoL measures to 380 participants randomized into experimental and control groups. Hearing aids were shown to improve both generic and hearing-related QoL domains, although the improvement in QoL was stronger as measured by the hearing-specific measures.

Reductions in both emotional and social consequences of hearing loss after wearing hearing aids have been measured by the HHIE in some studies. Particularly in their meta-analysis, Chisolm et al showed that hearing aids improved adults HHIE scores by reducing the psychological, social, and emotional effects of hearing loss., Cox et al also investigated different types of hearing aids and their impact on QoL, concluding that programmable hearing aids provide the most efficient effects.,

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Can My Friends And Family Help Me

Yes. You and your family can work together to make hearing easier. Here are some things you can do:

  • Tell your friends and family about your hearing loss. They need to know that hearing is hard for you. The more you tell the people you spend time with, the more they can help you.
  • Ask your friends and family to face you when they talk so that you can see their faces. If you watch their faces move and see their expressions, it may help you to understand them better.
  • Ask people to speak louder, but not shout. Tell them they do not have to talk slowly, just more clearly.
  • Turn off the TV or the radio if you aren’t actively listening to it.
  • Be aware of noise around you that can make hearing more difficult. When you go to a restaurant, do not sit near the kitchen or near a band playing music. Background noise makes it hard to hear people talk.

Working together to hear better may be tough on everyone for a while. It will take time for you to get used to watching people as they talk and for people to get used to speaking louder and more clearly. Be patient and continue to work together. Hearing better is worth the effort.

What Teachers Should Know

Hearing loss can affect a child mildly or in a very profound way. Profound hearing loss may mean that a child is deaf. Kids are born with hearing loss or can lose their hearing through injuries, infections, or long exposure to loud noises.

Signs that a child has hearing loss include:

  • having limited or unclear speech
  • not following directions or paying attention
  • hearing only parts of a conversation asking for information to be repeated
  • not being able to hear everyday sounds, like a school bell or morning announcements
  • learning problems

Hearing loss can be temporary. But when its not, there are technologies, therapies, and other treatments to help. Devices like hearing aids and cochlear implants can improve a childs ability to hear. Learning sign language or speech reading can also make it easier to communicate.

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Hearing Loss In Older Adults


University of Kansas School of MedicineWichita, Wichita, Kansas

Am Fam Physician. 2012 Jun 15 85:1150-1156.

At least 28 million U.S. adults have hearing loss.1 After hypertension and arthritis, it is the most common chronic health problem in older persons.2 The impact of hearing loss on society will increase as baby boomers age, because the age-specific prevalence of hearing loss and the number of older persons are increasing.3

Normal conversations use frequencies of 500 to 3,000 Hz at 45 to 60 dB. After 60 years of age, hearing typically declines by about 1 dB annually. Men usually experience greater hearing loss and earlier onset compared with women.4 Hearing loss of 25 dB or more affects about 37 percent of adults 61 to 70 years of age, 60 percent of adults 71 to 80 years of age, and more than 80 percent of adults older than 85 years.5,6 No evidence supports a threshold age for the onset of hearing loss.7


The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends screening persons older than 60 years for hearing loss during periodic health examinations.

A = consistent, good-quality patient-oriented evidence B = inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence C = consensus, disease-oriented evidence, usual practice, expert opinion, or case series. For information about the SORT evidence rating system, go to .

New Interventions In Hearing Impairment

Communication strategies for patients with hearing loss ...
  • Karen P Steel, professor
  • MRC Institute of Hearing Research, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD
  • Hearing impairment is the most prevalent sensory deficit in the human population, with about 1 in 800 children born with a serious hearing impairment and more than 60% of people aged over 70 suffering sufficient hearing loss to benefit from a hearing aid . 1 Sign language may be useful for a tiny proportion of those affected, those with profound childhood deafness, but for the vast majority of people with impaired hearing this is not an option, and social isolation combined with economic and educational disadvantage is the common outcome. Cochlear implants have improved the hearing of many adults and children with profound deafness, and surgery can relieve middle ear problems such as otosclerosis , but there is no medical treatment available for most people with sensorineural hearing impairment. In this article, I summarise recent progress in understanding the biology of deafness and outline some possibilities for alternative treatments that may be available in the future.

    Progression of hearing impairment with age. Values are percentages in each age band of UK population with hearing impairment at the level indicated. Data from Davis 199511

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    Ophthalmologist Nephrologist Cardiologist Or Other Subspecialty Consultants

    Consulting these subspecialists is recommended if an identifiable syndrome implicates involvement of the visual, renal, cardiac, or any other organ system .

    Similarly, if involvement of an organ system is anticipated because a child is diagnosed with a particular syndrome, a specialist may need to be involved .

    Occasionally, a specialist may be able to identify abnormalities that may lead to the diagnosis of a specific syndrome that would not be seen without specialized equipment .

    Because almost any organ system is potentially related to hearing loss, there is no need to consult every subspecialist for each child with hearing loss. As noted earlier, even routine ECG testing for a prolonged QT interval or laboratory testing for the development of nephritis or changes in blood urea nitrogen and creatinine are not recommended universally.

    Is Inner Ear Damage Permanent

    Listening to loud noise for a long time can overwork hair cells in the ear, which can cause these cells to die. The hearing loss progresses as long as the exposure continues. Harmful effects might continue even after noise exposure has stopped. Damage to the inner ear or auditory neural system is generally permanent.

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    Hearing Loss In Adults

    People over age 50 may experience gradual hearing loss over the years due to age-related changes in the ear or auditory nerve. The medical term for age-related hearing loss is presbycusis. Having presbycusis may make it hard for a person to tolerate loud sounds or to hear what others are saying.

    Other causes of hearing loss in adults include:

    • Loud noises

    How Is Hearing Loss Managed Or Treated

    Caring for Patients with Special Needs: Hearing Impairment

    Hearing loss treatments often depend on the type and degree of hearing loss. Treatments include:

    • Hearing assist devices: These devices help restore hearing. Hearing aids are devices worn on or inside the ear to amplify sound. Healthcare providers surgically implant cochlear implants into the inner ear to treat inner ear hearing loss.
    • Hearing rehabilitation: Also called audiologic rehabilitation, this therapy helps you adjust to hearing loss and hearing aids. A therapist also can help you learn to use visual cues and lip reading to improve communication.
    • Listening devices: Devices can make it easier to hear the telephone, television or videos on your computer.
    • Medications: Hearing loss caused by ear infections may improve with antibiotics. Corticosteroids can ease the swelling of cochlear hair cells after exposure to loud noise. If medications are causing your hearing loss, your provider may prescribe a different drug.
    • Surgery: Your provider may place ear tubes in the eardrum. Ear tubes treat chronic middle ear infections that contribute to hearing loss. Providers also perform surgeries to remove tumors, repair birth defects and place cochlear implants.

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    Hearing And Cognitive Health

    Studies have shown that older adults with hearing loss have a greater risk of developing dementia than older adults with normal hearing. Cognitive abilities decline faster in older adults with hearing loss than in older adults with normal hearing. Treating hearing problems may be important for cognitive health. See Whats the Connection Between Hearing and Cognitive Health?

    Early Intervention For Children With Hearing Loss

    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, protects children with disabilities. IDEA makes sure that children receive the services they need for free. The law covers children from birth through age 21. The early intervention, or EI, program is for birth to age 3. The school age program is for ages 3 to 21.

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    What Should I Do If I Have Trouble Hearing

    Hearing problems can be serious. The most important thing you can do if you think you have a hearing problem is to seek professional advice. There are several ways to do this. You can start with your primary care physician, an otolaryngologist, an audiologist, or a hearing aid specialist. Each has a different type of training and expertise. Each can be an important part of your hearing health care.

    An otolaryngologist , is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. An otolaryngologist will try to find out why you’re having trouble hearing and offer treatment options. He or she may also refer you to another hearing professional, an audiologist . An audiologist has specialized training in identifying and measuring the type and degree of hearing loss and recommending treatment options. Audiologists also may be licensed to fit hearing aids. Another source of hearing aids is a hearing aid specialist, who is licensed by a state to conduct and evaluate basic hearing tests, offer counseling, and fit and test hearing aids.

    What Treatments And Devices Can Help

    nursing care plan

    Your treatment will depend on your hearing loss, so some treatments will work better for you than others. There are a number of devices and aids that can improve hearing loss. Here are the most common ones:

    • Hearing aids are electronic instruments you wear in or behind your ear. They make sounds louder. Things sound different when you wear a hearing aid, but an audiologist or hearing aid specialist can help you get used to it. To find the hearing aid that works best for you, you may have to try more than one. Ask your audiologist or hearing specialist whether you can have a trial period with a few different hearing aids. Both of you can work together until you are comfortable.
    • Cochlear implants are small electronic devices surgically implanted in the inner ear that help provide a sense of sound to people who are profoundly deaf or hard-of-hearing. If your hearing loss is severe, your doctor may recommend a cochlear implant in one ear or both.
    • Assistive listening devices include telephone and cell phone amplifying devices, smart phone or tablet “apps,” and closed circuit systems in places of worship, theaters, and auditoriums.
    • Lip reading or speech reading is another option that helps people with hearing problems follow conversational speech. People who use this method pay close attention to others when they talk, by watching how the speaker’s mouth and body move.

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