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If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, you need support. Even if you are unable to visit an audiologist or other hearing healthcare specialist soon due to COVID-19 restrictions, you can take steps to support hearing loss at home. Experiencing hearing loss does not have to mean that you become reliant on others or that you lose your independence. It instead means you will need to find alternative solutions to the challenges of everyday life.
The following tips are simple, yet they can make a big difference for you and your loved one suffering from hearing loss:
- Put alert systems in place.
Those with hearing loss often cannot hear normal alarm systems like smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors. Special systems can be put into place that instead vibrate your bed, flash a bright light, or sound a very loud alarm to alert you of an emergency situation.
Doorbell systems work in a similar fashion. Since you will likely no longer hear your doorbell, these systems use lights or vibrations to alert you of visitors. There is even a similar solution available for your everyday alarm clock. Now you don’t have to worry about sleeping in too late!
- Make communication easier.
One common solution for making communication easier with hearing loss is the use of hearing aids. They can be life changing! If you have hearing aids, be sure to wear them. Using your hearing aids more frequently will help you get used to them.
If you do not have hearing aids and cannot visit a hearing specialist at this time, you can use other communication tools. Telephone amplifiers, extension ringers, and other assistive devices can make landline calls clearer. Most mobile phones and smartphones come with accessibility settings you can use to make it easier to use your phone. You can choose options like flash notifications, left/right balance to assist hearing when using headphones, and more.
- Enable entertainment options.
For many people, one of the first signs of hearing loss is being unable to hear their television or radio at a normal volume. In addition to turning up the volume, there are other options you can use to make it easier to enjoy entertainment once again. Check the sound settings on your television. Reducing the bass can help you hear higher-pitched sounds better. Many TVs also come with a “speech enhancement” setting that can make it easier for you to understand speech.
You can also use subtitles on your television. If you have a hearing aid, many TVs can connect to hearing aids via a hearing loop so the sound is streamed directly to your hearing aids. If you do not have hearing aids, you might consider using headphones that allow you to adjust the volume and sound settings.
Of course, one of the keys to supporting hearing loss is to be patient–whether it is with yourself or a loved one. Hearing loss is a new experience that will require adjustments from everyone.
To learn more about how you can support hearing loss at home, especially during this unprecedented time, we welcome you to contact our hearing practice today.