Things to know about hearing loss
Hearing loss is the third most common physical condition affecting Canadians, along with arthritis and heart disease. It is a major pubic issue.
One in ten Canadians reports some degree of hearing loss. Of those over 65, one in three Canadians has a hearing loss. Sixty percent of people with hearing loss are either in educational settings or the workplace.
As the slogan says, “You do not die from having a hearing loss; you do need to learn how to live with it.” This is why CHHA is dedicated to ensuring that everyone who has a hearing loss can learn how to manage it in terms which fit their individual needs and lifestyle.
Following are some sections which will provide useful information to help you manage your hearing loss.
Hearing aids are the most common devices prescribed for hearing loss. Types include in the ear canal; in the ear; behind the ear. Sizes range varies from tiny, to small.
Hearing aids will not correct vision as eyeglasses do. You will need to learn how to use them, and this takes time, and practice. It also will include return visits to your hearing aid dispenser, for periodic adjustments. Willingness to learn speechreading and coping skills, as well as tell others how to communicate effectively with you, will be key factors in helping you to live a full life. There are many online resources, but the best help often comes from others who have experience living with a hearing loss. Visit www.chha.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on resources and opportunities to interact with other hard of hearing individuals.
Also See links under Speechreading Skills.
Care & maintenance of hearing aids:
Why you need to wear your hearing aids all the time:
Choosing a hearing aid provider can be a daunting process. Professionals who dispense hearing aids include audiologists, and hearing instrument practitioners, all of whom must have taken certified courses in fitting of hearing aids, and who are legally registered to do so, with the relevant governing organization in that province or territory. There are many manufacturers of hearing aids, and your professional dispenser of the aid is the person qualified to suggest the make and model best suited to your type of hearing loss. Before you buy, know what technologies are available to make the most of your hearing aid.
Bone anchored hearing aids (BAHA) – These devices are designed for people with some type of middle ear deficit, who for some reason are medically unable to accommodate use of a hearing aid.
If your hearing loss is too profound to be helped by a hearing aid, you may qualify for a cochlear implant. A cochlear implant consists of an external component, and an internal component which is surgically implanted in the inner ear.
There are three companies who market cochlear implants in North America. They are
In addition to the auditory rehabilitation provided by the clinic, some benefit from additional auditory training. Some online sites for home based auditory training programs:
Assistive Listening devices (ALDS) also known as Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) is technology that can help in various listening situations.
Very often, a hearing aid or an implant is not enough to provide listening comprehension in communication situations. There are technologies designed to help people. These include those designed to provide safety and security, such as visible or vibratory alarm systems; improved television reception and telephone communication; and listening in various kinds of public places. Your hearing professional should evaluate your need for one or more of these devices and direct you to the appropriate vendor. To view some of these options, go to www.widhh.com and http://alds.com/
Speechreading, (lipreading) is a skill which can be taught. An interesting article on speechreading can be found at: http://www.therubins.com/geninfo/speechrd.htm
A variety of courses can be found online. These include:
- A Beginner’s Guide to Lipreading
- Lipreading Practice (UK)
- CHHA National Speechreading Program
For information on locally taught courses in speechreading, contact us.
Some courses on Speechreading also feature strategies for managing your hearing loss. For a beginner’s guide to lipreading, look for Sound Ideas at: http://chha.ca/chha/publications-speechreading.php
Other sites include:
- Be an assertive communicator: http://www.chs.ca/be-an-assertive-communicator
- Disclosing your hearing loss, a humorous perspective:
- Working with Hearing Loss: