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Coping With Hearing Loss
- Conductive hearing loss
- Sensorineural hearing loss
Devices to Improve Hearing
- Hearing aids
- Assistive listening devices
- Cochlear implant
- Analog hearing aids are the most common and least expensive type. These aids amplify speech and background noise alike, converting them into electrical signals. Some programmable models offer settings for different listening environments.
- Digital hearing aids are more costly. These devices transform sound waves into digital signals. The computer chip is usually programmed to selectively amplify speech and suppress background noise. This type of hearing aid offers the greatest flexibility for programming and adaptability to individual needs.
Helping Yourself to Hear Better
- Speak more clearly and a little louder than normal. Do not shout, since it can distort your speech. Talk at a reasonable speed and do not exaggerate sounds.
- Stand in good lighting. Do not cover your mouth, eat, or chew gum.
- Use facial expressions or gestures to give useful clues.
- Reduce background noise during conversations. In public places, try to talk away from noisy areas.
- Repeat yourself if necessary, using different words or shorter sentences.
- Try to be patient. Stay positive and relaxed and ask how you can help.
Health and Safety Issues
American Academy of Audiology http://www.audiology.org
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association http://www.asha.org
The Canadian Hearing Society http://www.chs.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Cochlear implants. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) website. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/coch.aspx. Updated November 2013. Accessed February 18, 2014.
Conductive hearing loss. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Conductive-Hearing-Loss/. Accessed February 18, 2014.
Hearing aids. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/hearingaid.asp. Updated September 2013. Accessed February 18, 2014.
Hearing loss. National Institute on Aging. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/hearing-loss. Updated February 13, 2014. Accessed February 18, 2014.
Hearing loss and older adults. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/older.asp. Updated November 2013. Accessed February 18, 2014.
Isaacson JE, Vora NM. Differential diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss. American Family Physician. 2003; 68: 1125-1132.
Leung J et al. Predictive models for cochlear implantation in elderly candidates. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005;131:1049-54.
Otosclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 4, 2012. Accessed February 18, 2014.
Otosclerosis. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary website. Available at: http://www.masseyeandear.org/for-patients/patient-guide/patient-education/diseases-and-conditions/otosclerosis/. Updated July 3, 2012. Accessed February 18, 2014.
Presbycusis. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/presbycusis.asp. Updated February 2002. Accessed February 18, 2014.
Sensorineural hearing loss. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Sensorineural-Hearing-Loss/. Accessed February 18, 2014.
Stidham KR, Roberson JB Jr. Hearing improvement after middle fossa resection of vestibular schwannoma. Otol Neurotol. 2001 Nov;22(6):917-21.
Yueh B, Shapiro N, MacLean CH, Shekelle PG. Screening and management of adult hearing loss in primary care: Scientific review. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2003; 289: 1976-1990.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014
- Update Date: 02/18/2014