Hearing loss is a common health issue that many people experience. Some people have hearing loss related to their genetics, while others might experience hearing loss due to illness, environmental hearing damage, or aging. Even though it’s a common experience, learning that you have hearing loss can be challenging to deal with. It changes the way you’re able to communicate with people and can affect your life in many ways. However, there are also many ways to adjust to a hearing loss diagnosis and even hearing loss that will continue to get worse.
Knowing what steps to take next, after receiving a hearing loss diagnosis, can be tricky. But there’s no need to rush, so you can take your time to accept it and get used to it.
Talk to Your Audiologist
The first thing you might want to do is speak to your audiologist. They will have the answers you’re looking for in terms of the severity of your hearing loss and possible causes. They can explain what everything means and help you get a better understanding of your diagnosis. If you have any questions, don’t hold back on asking them. If there are questions you think of later, you can always speak to your audiologist again. Alternatively, there are other resources that you can use to learn more general information, especially online.
Explore Treatment Options
Once you have a diagnosis, you can explore different treatment options to help you with your hearing loss. Many people with hearing loss are candidates for hearing aids, which help you by amplifying the right sounds. You can look at different types of hearing aids, which have various designs and features. Some hearing aids are suitable for all levels of hearing loss, while some are better for milder levels of hearing loss. There are all kinds of features to explore too, from Bluetooth connectivity to preset programs for different listening environments. Other types of treatment may be possible too, including treatment for tinnitus, which often goes hand in hand with hearing loss.
Adjust to Your Hearing Aids
Wearing hearing aids for the first time can take some adjustment. They’re not a cure for hearing loss, but they can help you to hear better once you’re used to them. When you first get your hearing aids, it’s usually recommended that you wear them for short periods. This allows you to get used to them while also getting a break from them. It’s also important to make sure you have your hearing aids fitted correctly when you pick them up. You might need to have the settings adjusted after you start wearing them to get them right.
Improve Your Communication Skills
Working on how you communicate can be important when you have hearing loss. Getting hearing aids can help you, but you still need to learn how to make the most of them. It’s also useful to have some other skills available that will help you to improve your communication. It will take time to retrain your brain to work with hearing aids, but you can use additional communication methods too. Visual cues and lip reading could both help you out when you’re communicating with others. Additional tech tools can be useful too, and even learning what types of environments work best for you can be helpful.
It might be difficult for you to deal with a hearing loss diagnosis and learn to accept it. However, there are various ways to get support if you need it. One option is to look for support groups, which can be a great choice if you want to share your experiences with other people with hearing loss. You might also benefit from speaking to a therapist, sharing your thoughts and feelings with friends and family, or even finding support online.
Learn Your Rights
Another step that you might want to take is to make sure you know your rights as someone with hearing loss. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides protection when you’re using businesses, in the workplace, and in other places that you might frequent. Learning about the law when it comes to discrimination and what treatment you’re entitled to can help you to be more prepared for life as someone with hearing loss. It will help you to stand up for yourself and protect yourself if you ever need to.
Finding out you have hearing loss can change some things in your life. However, you can do lots of things to start adjusting to your new reality.