Step 3: Learn How to Use Your Device
Whichever type of severe hearing loss treatment you get, you need to learn how to use it properly.
"They have to put in a lot of effort and they have to be very dedicated to learning how to listen again," says Hull Bell. "You can give them the latest and greatest hearing aid, but if they don't put the time and effort into it, it's not going to be successful."
Before you leave your audiologist's office, make sure you know how to use your new device. Also ask about being enrolled in an aural rehabilitation program. This program can help you improve your communication skills and adjust to your hearing aids.
Keep in touch with your audiologist and/or ENT. They can make adjustments, if needed, to make sure your hearing device continues to work well for you over the long term.
Step 4: Manage Your Hearing Loss
In addition to getting a hearing aid or other hearing device, you can use one of the many hearing-assistive devices available to help you manage your hearing loss:
- Infrared systems let you set the TV volume to your own headphones, so the rest of your family doesn't have to listen at full blast.
- Closed-captioning prints a text display across the bottom of your TV screen, so you don't miss any of the dialogue in your favorite shows.
- Alerting devices use flashing lights to signal sounds, like when the doorbell or phone rings or the smoke alarm goes off. There are even devices that will shake your bed when your alarm clock rings.
- TTY telephone is a tele-typewriter that allows a hearing-impaired individual to communicate with people who can hear normally. The conversation from the hearing person is typed and displayed on the TTY to the hearing-impaired person.
- Texting on cell phones now allows hearing-impaired people to communicate more readily.