Millions of North Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss each year. This loss can lead to communication problems, social discomfort, depression, and even other serious medical issues. However, no matter the degree or severity of the loss, there is increasingly sophisticated technological (see modern hearing aid technology) help available.
The first step is helping someone with hearing loss is to simply seek help and learning how to communicate with a hearing impaired person. Many people who suffer from hearing loss have some form of denial about their situation; perhaps they do not want to seem “old” or they do not want the perceived stigma of hearing aids or devices. These stigmas need to be put aside since the earlier you seek help the better chances for significant help. If you wait too long, you may have already substantially lost more of your hearing.
Screenings are available in many areas. These screening typically provide some baseline data on hearing and speech. From this information comes a discussion of options for treatment and rehabilitation. Treatment can include hearing aids which these days come in variety of styles, including those that are Bluetooth-compatible. In essence, these devices can be hooked up to computers or smart phones for improved adjustments not easily accessible with manual hearing devices (see new technology hearing aids).
Some concerns with hearing devices include lifestyle choices. You want to get the device that best fits your needs. The key is to select a device that you will use since the goal is to improve the quality of life, not have another medical aid end up in the back of a drawer.
After diagnosis, aids are usually available within a couple of weeks. Once they are being used, patients can expect their social life to improve and their communication skills to return. The first step is to get screened and get an assessment of where your hearing is today. If you do not need an aid, great! However, if you do need help, you will not get it unless you seek it out. With the improved technology available, there is no need to suffer.