Groupe Forget - Polyclinique de l'Oreille

How can you adapt to hearing loss

Are you experiencing hearing loss? Would hearing aids help you? Why do some people have trouble with their hearing aids? Is there anything else you can do?

Living with hearing loss often brings up a host of questions. Rest assured that there are many ways an audiologist can help!

Hearing aids: Yes or no?

Hearing aids were invented several decades ago and have been continuously improving ever since. They are essentially mini computers that help wearers hear sounds that they usually can’t because of hearing loss.

Hearing aid use varies by individual:

  • Some people will get their hearing aids early on and be pleased with the results immediately.
  • Others will have trouble getting used to them.
  • And still others will delay getting them, wondering whether hearing aids would be the right solution for them.

In all these cases, an audiologist is the professional to see to discuss your personal situation:

  • When did you start noticing the effects of hearing loss?
  • Have there been communication problems between you and your family and friends?
  • What are your concerns about using hearing aids?

A good discussion with an audiologist can often clear up problems and demystify misconceptions.

The audiologist will also use complementary tests to identify your exact communication abilities and how they would change with hearing aids. So, the audiologist can validate whether hearing aids are necessary and/or suggest other helpful strategies to improve your hearing.

What are these other strategies?

Whether or not you have hearing aids, communication strategies can be used to modify behaviour and environments for better understanding. The audiologist may suggest some or even practice them with a person with hearing loss and their entourage. Here are a few examples:

  • Tell people you have hearing loss.
  • Avoid pretending that you heard and understood.
  • Ask people to speak slower and a little louder (but to not yell).
  • Get closer and face each other to talk.
  • Create a more conducive hearing environment through good lighting, no background noise, etc.

Lip reading is another communication strategy. You may develop this skill naturally or you could learn to lip read in a class with an audiologist.

When you’re wondering what to do about your hearing loss, the best step is to talk to the right person! Your audiologist is there to help you understand it all!

BY Marilène Roy, Audiologist at Polyclinique de l’Oreille

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