The American Hearing Foundation indicates that 35 million Americans experience some hearing loss. Unfortunately, only 28.5% manage it with hearing aids. While some people are born with hearing loss, others acquire it through illness, aging, accidents or overexposure to loud sounds. Regardless, it is vital to manage it to improve your life’s quality effectively.
1. Use Your Hearing Aids as Often as Possible
Hearing aids are a powerful technology that improves the quality of life of people with varying degrees of hearing loss. Remember that when a person completely loses their hearing, the brain that interprets sounds becomes inactive. According to research, long periods of inactivity can cause a deterioration of brain function and increase Alzheimer’s and dementia risks in old age. Fortunately, with your hearing aids, you can keep your brain active. As a tip, do well to always carry a spare battery for your hearing aids, just in case the current battery dies.
2. Use Hearing Protection
You need to protect your ears from loud noises, irrespective of your hearing loss degree. Fortunately, there are custom-made earmuffs, foam earplugs, which offer excellent protection for your ears. However, foam earplugs are often disposable because they tend to retain moisture and bacteria. Therefore, you may replace them consistently to reduce your chances of getting ear infections.
3. Always Be Mindful of Your Environment
If you have to attend a social function or a restaurant for dinner, you need to make necessary adjustments to enhance your hearing device’s performance. The last thing you need is an environment with heightened background noise that interferes with your ability to hear correctly.
4. Do Not Ignore Your Scheduled Hearing Assessments
Through regular hearing assessments, your audiologist will determine your hearing loss progress. Staying true to regular hearing tests helps the audiologist detect variations in your baseline hearing. The idea is to avoid developing another auditory issue due to negligence or inadequate hearing test sessions.
5. Optimize Your Communication Environment
When managing hearing loss, always make sure you communicate with others in good lighting. This helps you see clearly to read lips or pick up on non-verbal clues usually used in communication. Another way to optimize your environment is to move away from the noise that disrupts the listening or interpretation process. Additionally, you can install light-sensor doorbells to indicate when someone is at your door.
6. Learn the Basic Functions on Your Hearing Devices
During your hearing aid fitting, the audiologist will teach you how to operate your new device. If you’re using modern types, they will enlighten you on connecting them with current apps. The overall purpose is to educate you on your hearing aid functions and equip you with the requisite knowledge needed to operate it.
7. Maintain your hearing aids
Although incredibly small, your hearing aids are powerful pieces of technology. However, their internal components are fragile and encased in hard plastic. Therefore, should your device fall onto a hard surface, it can crack and damage the components. A regular cleaning routine should be performed to help keep your devices in optimal shape. This typically involves wiping the hearing aids down with a dry cloth daily after use, as well as more thorough cleanings of ports or tubes weekly.
Additionally, it would help if you protected them from heat, moisture and dirt build-up, as they can shorten the lifespan of your hearing aids. You may also take your aids to the audiologist for professional cleaning.
8. Do Not Isolate Yourself
It helps to know that you are not the only person living with hearing loss. Some people with hearing loss have managed it quite well and live their everyday lives. You can do the same as long as you seek expert help from your audiologist. Isolation only leads to depression and low self-esteem.
9. Let Others Know You Have Hearing Loss
You will find it beneficial to inform others of your hearing loss when communicating with them. This alerts the other person to enunciate appropriately for the best communication experience. On a more positive note, your decision to inform others may address emotional concerns you may have harbored without realizing. This makes communication easier and allows you to rely on a supportive family to help you navigate hearing aids and being immersed in a world of noise again.
Taking steps to manage it can dramatically improve your quality of life. Indeed, the news of a hearing loss diagnosis is never welcoming but how you choose to live from then on is your choice. So, call us today at 727-289-1212 to speak with Hear Here Audiology about your hearing healthcare needs.