There are so many people who are having a hard time facing the challenges of a severe hearing loss. As a result, they have isolated themselves from everyone. Why so? Because they lack the proper guidance of what they should do to overcome and defeat the negatives of hearing impairment.
But accepting your hearing problems and living your life in a world without ‘sounds’ is not the solution. You have to stand up and fight against it! Do you know that an untreated hearing loss might make your life worse! Many people feel ashamed of wearing a hearing aid as they fear that others might get to know about their weakness and make fun of them. If you are one of them, listen to this: “Times have changed! So did hearing aids! The modern day hearing aids are not as big and visible as they used to in the past few decades. Today’s digital hearing aids will seat right inside your ear canal and nobody can even get the slightest hint that you are suffering from hearing loss!
Hearing Loss is Visible, Hearing Aids are Not!
The fact that people fail to realise is that it is actually hearing loss that is visible, and not hearing aids. To make things simpler, if you can’t follow conversations, or start avoiding telephone calls, or start avoiding social gatherings and isolate yourself, or frequently ask people to repeat themselves, or even pretend that you are able to follow what others are trying to convey, and as a result you might end up replying something out of context. All these acts will in turn make your hearing loss problems visible. This will result in so many other complications, like psychological disorders, sleep disturbances, misunderstandings with family members and friends, and the list is endless! You don’t want such a life, do you?
What are the Possible Hearing Loss Treatment Methods for Severe Hearing Loss?
Hearing aids are not the only hearing loss treatment option - there are so many other options, such as cochlear implants and middle ear implants - which are quite effective. There are many cases such as that of severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss in which hearing aids do not show much benefit, even after wearing them for a long time.
But wait! Before you jump into any conclusion, read on!
Steps Towards a Better Hearing
First things first, you need to learn about what’s causing your hearing loss problems. So starting with -
Step 1 - Get your Hearing Tested
Consult a licensed Audiologist right after you experience some signs and symptoms of hearing loss. But how would you know? Here’s how -
You are turning up the TV or radio volume louder than usual
You are avoiding phone calls
You are unable to follow what others are saying
You are socially isolating yourself
You are avoiding group discussions
You are frequently asking others to repeat themselves
You probably notice a difference in hearing in the right and the left ear
You may be facing ringing or other sort of pain in the ears
You can’t follow someone’s conversation in a noisy area
If you face some or all of the above symptoms, get an auditory evaluation done at the earliest.
An ideal Audiologist will go through a series of tests to diagnose and identify the cause of your hearing loss - that is, whether it is because of some medications, or some malformations or disorders in the ear structure, or due to some other health issues and medical conditions or some ear infections.
Step 2 - Know About the Treatment Methods
As mentioned earlier, hearing aids are not the only option to opt for - there are other hearing loss treatment methods too (like cochlear implants and middle ear implants). Depending upon the nature and intensity of your hearing problems, and your response level, your Audiologist will suggest which method to go for. If after using hearing aids for a long time you don’t find much benefit, your Audiologist will look for other methods. He/she will find the best way for you with which you can enjoy the world of sounds and lead a better quality of life.
Step 3 - Learn How to Use Your Device
Be it hearing aids or cochlear implants, you MUST learn how to use it and get the most of it! Hearing aids (or cochlear implants) are not like eyeglasses with which your vision will adjust the moment you wear them. Hearing aid devices are need way more time to adjust before you can actually hear well - especially you are opting for a hearing loss treatment procedure after a long time. Because your brain needs time to adjust to this new world of sounds after being deprived of it and getting used to a soundless world.
Learn from your Audiologist about how you should use your device, and also know from him/her about the care and maintenance tips. Because just as your device is taking care of you, you need to take care of it as well.
So spare a little time and effort and know your device well!
Step 4 - Manage Your Hearing Loss
Just wearing a hearing aid or undergoing an implantation does not help, especially if you are wearing them after having lived with an untreated hearing loss for a long time. You need to join auditory verbal therapy sessions or other training programmes so as to boost your ability to understand speech. People often complain that even after wearing hearing aids or undergoing a cochlear implant, they are not able to understand what others are saying, even though they are able to hear them. So in that case, participating in a regular auditory rehabilitation programme can help your brain adjust to your new device, and hence improve your communication skills.
Also, stay in touch with your Audiologist after getting your new device for possible adjustments or readjustments. The idea is to keep your device going for as long as possible!
Additionally, assistive-listening devices like, infrared system, FM systems, inductive loop systems and other alerting devices - can also boost your hearing ability. These are generally clubbed together with the use of hearing aids (or other hearing loss treatment solutions) as recommended by your Audiologist.
In a nutshell, instead of ignoring your hearing problems, fight against it to emerge victorious! Don’t fear your severe hearing loss, fear the consequences of not treating it on time!
Are you aware of some other ways to help a person fight with severe hearing loss problems? Let us know in the comment section below.