Hearing loss can affect you mentally, physically and emotionally. However, its effects are not insurmountable. Even though it may be difficult to adjust at first, you can learn coping strategies which will enable you to live a full life. The first thing you need to do is get your condition diagnosed. After that, here are five things you can do to help improve your quality of life.
You don’t have to try to get by without assistance. Many modern hearing aids are inconspicuous and high-tech so you don’t have to worry about a large device which offers only limited help. The right hearing aid will enable you to have face-to-face conversations, talk on the phone and even listen to music more comfortably. Combat hearing loss with Miracle-Ear or one of the many other modern devices on the market. Assistive learning devices and cochlear implants may also help.
Manage your expectations
Your hearing is an unlikely return to “normal” even with treatment, but it can improve considerably. It all depends on how severe your condition is and how long it took you to seek treatment. You may need to return to the audiologist two or three times to have your hearing aids adjusted to your needs. It may all seem overwhelming at first but you need to be patient. As time goes on, you’ll get used to your new normal and feel more comfortable with your condition.
Join a support group
You will likely need some assistance in handling the challenges of hearing loss. Instead of isolating yourself, continue to stay active and engage with other people. Consider joining a support group for people with hearing problems. Talk about your challenges and learn from others who are going through the same things. This can help you to cope and feel less isolated.
Ask your family and friends to help you
Your loved ones will also have to adapt to your condition. Remind them of the ways in which they can help you. Tell them if you need them to speak more slowly or turn down the television or radio before they speak. If lip reading helps you, ask them to talk to you in well-lit areas where you can see them clearly. Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to ask for what you need.
Do your research before you go to a movie or play
Hearing loss doesn’t mean you have to stay at home all the time. You may, however, have to be a little more selective about where you go. If you want to see a movie, find out if closed-captioning or sound amplification devices will be available for the show you want to see. For plays, most large theaters provide assistive listening devices but you can check ahead of time. There may be more assistance available than you expect.
Hearing loss doesn’t mean who have to stop living your life. If you are otherwise in good health, it shouldn’t limit your regular activities. If you seek treatment and support early and get your friends and relatives on board, you can continue to enjoy your golden years.