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Dealing with Hearing Loss

One of the senses we often lose gradually as we age is our hearing. Hearing loss can be an emotional

and difficult change to adjust to—and for some it can result in bruised pride. But adjust you must if

you want to live a full and happy retirement. Here are four tips that can help.

1. Accept that it’s happening. Hearing loss is a natural part of aging, especially if your ears were

frequently exposed to loud noises and music. It doesn’t just happen when you hit your senior years,

but can actually start when you’re in your 40s. Accepting that your hearing is getting worse is the

first step toward finding appropriate ways to deal with the loss, so make sure that you acknowledge

the changes in your hearing rather than blaming the world around you.

2. See a doctor. There are a lot of small shops that run hearing tests and sell hearing aids, but some

of these stores feature highly unqualified employees, overly expensive hearing aids, aggressive

payment plans and cheap products. A better idea is to start your journey with a visit to an ear, nose

and throat doctor who can either help you get a hearing aid or can refer you to a qualified

audiologist.

3. Protect your ears from further loss. There are many things that can further your hearing

loss—from mowing the lawn to using a blender, listening to loud music to going to live sporting

events where people in the stands are screaming. Make the effort to preserve the hearing you have

by avoiding loud noises when possible and protecting your ears with earplugs when you can’t.

4. Let your family know your needs. Communication can be frustrating for both the person with the

hearing loss and his or her family, so you need to let your family members and friends know the

best ways to help you hear them. This might mean speaking slower and more clearly, facing you

when talking and using visual cues to get their message across.

Together, you and your friends and loved ones can find ways to adjust to the hearing loss and you

can still live a full, happy life.

About Jessica Brinkman

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