Audiological Rehabilitation is a form of treatment aimed to help the hearing impaired.
It grew out of research conducted during WWII, and through the years focus has turned to correcting hearing impairments as well as fine-tuning the equipment used to treat hearing loss.
“The practice focuses on helping the hearing impaired learn to work with loved ones, professionals, devices, equipment, and activities that will improve their hearing.”
While this is sometimes done on a one-on-one basis, each case is unique. Sometimes the exercises are focused around groups or pairs of people working together with a specialist.
Working with your Audiologist
When starting your rehabilitation, you may be tested in three different categories, all aimed at recovery. These three areas are
- Approach to auditory processing
- Stimulus difficulty level
- Auditory skill
These are all aimed at helping the patient and audiologist figure out the best course of action and equipment necessary to aid hearing recovery.
An audiologist doesn’t work just with the patient, but also with family and loved ones who often find themselves exhausted with talking to the patient.
It’s important to have an open dialogue with loved ones so they understand the severity of your hearing loss and can better understand why they’re having a hard time communicating with you.
An audiologist knows that the ramifications of hearing impairment are multifaceted. Often the patient is dealing with many side effects including the stigma of hearing loss, hard time focusing because of the impairment, fatigue, inattentiveness, and other emotional problems are also a concern.
When it comes to working with a health professional, we assume that they know what’s best for us. It’s easy to take a passive role when it comes to your healthcare, but this shouldn’t be the case when you’re working with your audiologist.
As with all health concerns, you know your body best, and in this case, it will only help the professional better diagnose and treat your hearing loss if you’re assertive, communicate with them openly, and ask questions.
Address any other concerns you have with the loss of your hearing. Audiologists are professionals that understand what you’re going through and are there to help. Don’t take a passive role in your recovery, help them help you by being honest.
Aids and Equipment
When it comes time to choosing a hearing aid that will work best with your audiological rehabilitation, one will be chosen that fits you and your impairment.
It’s often the case that you will be inundated with information about hearing aids and how to care, use, and adjust to the aid you’ve received. You may not have a lot of questions to start, but that’s normal when you’re overwhelmed with information.
Feel free to talk with your audiologist when you have questions, or even keep a notebook you can jot down questions as they come to discuss with your audiologist at a later date.
In recent years there has been a lot of return of hearing aids and equipment because they weren’t properly prescribed. This is because of a lack of communication between patient and professional.
“As mentioned before, this can be alleviated with clear communication during diagnosis.”
Hearing impairment is a very personal thing, and it’s different for each patient. Helping your audiologist understand where you need the most assistance will increase the accuracy of prescribing your equipment.
Remember that your hearing aid is a prescription, and it might not be what is advertised, or what you’re used to seeing others wear. The aid is chosen specifically to serve individual needs.
Communicating and the Road to Recovery
While hearing aids will help you a lot in your audiological rehabilitation, they might not work as well as you’d like with recreational activities, like going to the movies, talking on the phone, or watching television.
Rest assured that there are other devices you can use that will help you on your road to recovery.
Along with the hearing aid, you must be sure that friends and family understand how best to communicate with you.
It might still be hard for people to get your attention, so be sure to let them know to grab your attention before starting a conversation.
Arranging furniture and situating lighting in your home will help you easier understand what is being said, or to recognize when someone is trying to get your attention.
The road of rehabilitation is a long one. It will take working with loved ones and your audiologist to get your hearing where you want it to be.
“Being honest with those you surround yourself with – as well as your professional – is the first, and biggest, step you can take.”