Before you can get a hearing aid, you have to do one of the two things:
Get a written statement from your doctor saying that your hearing has been evaluated medically and that you will benefit from a hearing aid, or sign a waiver that you do not want a medical exam for your hearing.
Even if the hearing loss cannot be fully corrected, powerful but inconspicuous hearing aids — some small enough to fit inside the ear canal (miracle ear) — are available to help you get back in touch with the world.
An audiologist, a professional trained to lit hearing aids, can help you choose one that fits your needs.
In general, it is wise to do a thorough 'test run' with every control movement you feel you will have to make with the device, including changing the batteries, adjusting the volume, and manipulating any other switches or controls. Even after you buy a hearing device; it may take you several days or weeks to ascertain whether or not you can use it effectively.
To facilitate such consumer testing, many dealers offer trial purchases, such as a thirty-day period during which you can return the device if you find it is not working properly for you. Remember: This trial period had been provided to make sure you are completely happy. So if you decide you are not satisfied within the trial period, do not hesitate to take the device back. After all you will probably have to live with the hearing aid for years. You should be as certain as possible that it is right for you.
||RELATING TO THOSE WITH HEARING PROBLEMS
No matter what treatments or other steps may be taken by the physicians, therapists, or other health experts, an older person may still experience hearing problems. Even the most advanced hearing aids may not restore full auditory abilities in those whose hearing is very severely impaired. So some people will have to be reconciled to hearing that is impaired to a certain degree.
But friends and relatives can make the lives of those with hearing problems much easier if they just follow a few simple rules. These guidelines are based on reports by the National Institutes of Health.
- Do not keep away from the sight of a hearing-impaired person in an effort to speak directly into his ear. It is important for those with hearing difficulties to be able to
see you, including your lips and gestures, so that they can put those visual aids together and understand the language of the opposite person better.
- Talk in front of the person at a distance which is not more than six feet. Be sure that your features are well lighted. If you are arranging a discussion with several people,
observe the six-foot and good lighting guidelines for all the participants. That is, no person should be no more than six feet from any other person.
- If you are setting up a meeting where you know some hearing-impaired people will be present, alert the speaker to the fact that some participants in the audience cannot
hear well. Tell him to speak as loudly and clearly as possible, and use a sound system if one is available.
- Avoid mumbling, eating, or chewing while you speak or any other practice or obstruction that may make it difficult for others to hear and understand you. If you are the speaker at a meeting, make an announcement at the beginning of the talk that you want people to raise their hands if they cannot hear you. Put
the onus on yourself by saying something like, "Sometimes my voice drops, so let me know if you cannot hear." That way, you may help remove some of the self-consciousness that the hard-of-hearing may feel about themselves.
- If someone indicates he has not heard what you have said, be quick to repeat words in a simple, clear language.
- When you talk to those who do not hear well, speak slightly more loud than you normally would. If you raise the volume of your voice too much, the sounds may be distorted and the hearing-impaired might find it difficult to understand.
- When you talk to the hearing-impaired, speak relatively slowly, but maintain a normal rhythm and pace in your speech. Otherwise, you will interrupt the flow of normal communication and it may become harder to be understood.
- Above all, do not ignore a person who is hard-of-hearing during a group discussion. If you have to repeat a few sentences, do so patiently. In this way, you will draw the person into the discussion and solicit opinions and insights that might otherwise be lost.