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Hearing Loss

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Living With Hearing Loss

If you have hearing loss, you may find that it takes extra effort and energy to talk with others. Hearing may be especially difficult in settings where there are many people talking or there is a lot of background noise. The increased effort it takes to be with other people may cause stress and fatigue. You may begin to avoid social activities, feel less independent, and worry about your safety.

Hearing devices you may want to use include:

  • Hearing aids.Hearing aids make all sounds louder (amplify), including your own voice. Common background noises, such as rustling newspapers, magazines, and office papers, may be distracting. When you first get hearing aids, it may take you several weeks to months to get used to this.
    Hearing Loss: Should I Get Hearing Aids?
  • Assistive listening devices. These devices make certain sounds louder by bringing the sound directly to your ear. They shorten the distance between you and the source of sound and also reduce background noise. You can use different types of devices for different situations, such as one-on-one conversations and classroom settings or auditoriums, theaters, or other large public spaces. Commonly used listening devices include telephone amplifiers, personal listening systems (such as auditory trainers and personal FM systems), and hearing aids that you can connect directly to a television, stereo, radio, or microphone.
  • Alerting devices. These devices alert you to a particular sound (such as the doorbell, a ringing telephone, or a baby monitor) by using louder sounds, lights, or vibrations to get your attention.
  • Television closed-captioning. Television closed-captioning makes it easier to watch television by showing the words at the bottom of the screen so that you can read them. Most newer TVs have a closed-captions option.
  • Text messaging. You can type messages and send them from your mobile device to someone else's.
  • TTY (text telephone). A TTY (also called TDD, or telecommunication device for the deaf) allows you to type messages back and forth on the telephone instead of talking or listening. When messages are typed on the TTY keyboard, the information is sent over the phone line to a receiving TTY and shown on a monitor. A telecommunications relay service (TRS) makes it possible to call from a phone to a TTY or vice versa.

Many other communication devices, such as pagers, fax machines, email, and custom calling features offered by phone companies, can be helpful. To get more information about selecting and using listening, alerting, and telecommunicating devices, talk to an audiologist.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 08, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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