the best things in life go under-appreciated, until they’re gone. For example, can
you remember a time when you didn’t realize how much you cared about someone
until they were no longer around? The same is true of our bodily senses,
especially sight or hearing. In the case of hearing loss, changes are often so gradual that you
don’t even know there’s a problem until it’s too late to prevent it.
What is aural rehabilitation?
young or old, individuals with hearing loss often find it challenging to adjust
to this change in their health and the way it impacts everyday life. Aural rehabilitation is the process by
which hearing loss is diagnosed and treated, including various therapies and
assistive hearing devices.
Components of aural rehabilitation
individual with hearing loss is unique, so is their treatment, but hearing
professionals generally include some combination of the following areas as part
of a comprehensive aural rehabilitation plan:
- Types of hearing loss – Different treatment options are
available for different types of hearing impairment. The severity of hearing
loss, type (sensorineural, conductive, etc.), and duration (temporary or
permanent), often dictates the best treatment modality.
- Family involvement – Having a support system of individuals who
understand your hearing loss can be a huge benefit as you seek to adjust to the
change yourself. Well-informed family and friends can even be part of the
treatment, including learning new communication strategies and helping to set
up a hearing-friendly environment. When they learn to speak slowly and clearly,
your brain will be better able to process what you hear, allowing you to have
meaningful social interactions.
- Hearing aids – If your hearing test has concluded that you
do have hearing loss, your audiologist may prescribe hearing aids. Just having the devices,
however, doesn’t mean that your hearing will instantly improve. Knowing how to use them, how to make minor
adjustments when needed, and how to properly maintain them is all part of the
aural education process.
- Learning to listen – Many people wait a long time before seeking
treatment for their hearing loss. Because of this, there is often an adjustment
period when the brain is re-learning how to listen to and interpret sounds that
it hasn’t heard in a while. This learning process can be shortened if you seek
treatment early, before your hearing loss progresses too far.
- Visual cues – When one sense is impaired, other senses can
fill in the gaps, but only if they are trained to do so. Aural rehabilitation
includes learning new strategies, such as lip reading or body language, to help
make up for what you’re unable to hear.
- Assistive listening devices – Hearing aids are not
the only devices that are used to help the hearing impaired. Modern technology
also includes other assistive listening
that work with hearing aids, or independently, to improve hearing in many
No matter what level of hearing loss or impairment you have, a hearing professional can design an aural rehabilitation plan that is tailored to your specific wants and needs. Schedule an appointment with an audiologist today and get on the road to better hearing.
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Source: Hear Well-Live Well Blog