Hearing loss can profoundly impact your quality of life. It may have ramifications in all aspects of your life — from your career to your favorite pastimes and even in your relationships.
Hearing loss doesn’t just make it hard to enjoy your hobbies. It can also pose safety issues, such as difficulty hearing fire alarms or sirens. The good news is that aural rehabilitation can help address all of these concerns — and it’s available here at Memorial Village Sinus & Hearing in Houston, Texas.
Here, board-certified ENT physician Dr. Conrad McCutcheon and licensed audiologist Marty Lippeatt, Au.D., answer a common question for those struggling with hearing loss: What’s included in aural rehabilitation?
What is aural rehabilitation?
Aural rehabilitation goes by many names, including aural rehab or even just AR Regardless of what you call it, it encompasses a wide set of practices, treatments, and therapies designed to help people with hearing loss.
The goal of aural rehabilitation is to help you live well with hearing loss. Many treatments and therapies fall under the umbrella of aural rehabilitation. This includes:
- Hearing devices
- Learning visual cues and other communication strategies
- Environmental modifications
- Auditory training
Together, the various components of aural rehabilitation can improve your quality of life, reduce your hearing difficulties, improve your communication abilities, help you adjust to life with hearing loss, and help you effectively use hearing technology.
What to expect with aural rehabilitation
Sometimes people who are just realizing they have some degree of hearing loss might assume they simply need hearing aids. However, this is just one part of aural rehabilitation.
Aural rehabilitation starts with a comprehensive hearing evaluation and a needs analysis, which is a big-picture look at various aspects of your life that allows you to create goals for your aural rehabilitation. You might consider:
- How hearing loss impacts your work
- How hearing loss affects your relationships
- How hearing loss affects your day-to-day functionality
- Specific listening situations that impact your quality of life, such as excess background noise, situations that require focus, or circumstances that trigger listening fatigue easily
Dr. Lippeatt works with you to determine goals, target outcomes, and, most importantly, develop solutions to help you reach those goals.
In addition to trying assistive hearing devices, your aural rehabilitation plan may also include trying communication strategies, engaging in stress management techniques, and attending peer support groups for hearing loss. You may also find that auditory training is a helpful component of rehab.
Here are a few examples:
- Hearing aids, which can be behind-the-ear devices, in-the-ear devices, and devices completely in the canal
- Auditory training, which includes coaching sessions with a speech pathologist or a teacher for the deaf
- Peer support groups
- Relaxation and stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation, and exercise
- Assistive listening devices, which can include personal amplifiers, amplified/captioned telephones, alerting devices (such as flashing doorbells), and Bluetooth devices
Each needs analysis is unique, which means each patient receives a customized aural rehabilitation plan to fit you and your goals.
Exploring your next steps
You may experience many emotions as you come to terms with hearing loss — sadness, frustration, and even anger are common. But know that you’re not alone on your journey.
Aural rehabilitation at Memorial Village Sinus & Hearing can restore your confidence and improve your quality of life. To learn more, call us at 281-822-3777, or use our online tool to request an appointment.