As we age, many of us experience hearing loss. In some people this can occur as early as the 40s or 50s. If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, not dealing with it appropriately can lead to isolation and reduction in activities you enjoy.

Read on to learn how to deal with hearing loss through modern technology, and also through changes in your communication style with others.

Get Well Fitted Hearing Aids

A properly selected hearing aid is usually the most effective therapeutic way to improve hearing loss. However, choosing a good one can be a daunting process without guidance. It is important to ask the right questions when you are buying hearing aids. The Hearing Loss Association of America has put together a very helpful fact sheet/question list to ensure that a hearing aid vendor is providing you with the best product for your situation.

You should get a well-fitted hearing aid through a qualified and certified hearing professional. These include audiologists, hearing aid specialists and ear/nose/throat doctors.

Consider Cochlear Implants

These are advanced medical devices that bypass the damaged parts of your inner ear and stimulate the auditory nerve. They are best to improve hearing in those with severe hearing loss. These are not usually recommended for people who are doing relatively well with hearing aids.

Communication Tips

If you have hearing loss, there are a few things you can do to make communication easier:
  • Tell other people how they can best talk to you
  • Choose the best spot for you to talk, such as a well lit, quiet area with little background noise
  • Anticipate situations that are difficult to hear in
  • Pay close attention to the speaker
  • Look for visual clues to help you understand
  • Don't be afraid to ask for a written cue if needed
  • Do not interrupt. Let them talk and you often can fill in the blanks as the conversation progresses

Hearing loss can reduce your ability to stay active as you age. So, it is vital to have your hearing tested and evaluated if you think you are not hearing as well as you used to. With the tips above and modern technology, most of us can enjoy active and healthy lives with even significant hearing loss.