Aural Rehabilitation – A Comprehensive Plan For Hearing Loss Treatment

aural rehabilitation

Some of the best things in life go under-appreciated, until they’re gone. For example, can you remember a time when you didn’t realize how much you cared about someone until they were no longer around? The same is true of our bodily senses, especially sight or hearing. In the case of hearing loss, changes are often so gradual that you don’t even know there’s a problem until it’s too late to prevent it.

What is aural rehabilitation?

Whether young or old, individuals with hearing loss often find it challenging to adjust to this change in their health and the way it impacts everyday life. Aural rehabilitation is the process by which hearing loss is diagnosed and treated, including various therapies and assistive hearing devices.

Components of aural rehabilitation

Since every individual with hearing loss is unique, so is their treatment, but hearing professionals generally include some combination of the following areas as part of a comprehensive aural rehabilitation plan:

  1. Types of hearing loss – Different treatment options are available for different types of hearing impairment. The severity of hearing loss, type (sensorineural, conductive, etc.), and duration (temporary or permanent), often dictates the best treatment modality.
  2. Family involvement – Having a support system of individuals who understand your hearing loss can be a huge benefit as you seek to adjust to the change yourself. Well-informed family and friends can even be part of the treatment, including learning new communication strategies and helping to set up a hearing-friendly environment. When they learn to speak slowly and clearly, your brain will be better able to process what you hear, allowing you to have meaningful social interactions.
  3. Hearing aids – If your hearing test has concluded that you do have hearing loss, your audiologist may prescribe hearing aids. Just having the devices, however, doesn’t mean that your hearing will instantly improve. Knowing how to use them, how to make minor adjustments when needed, and how to properly maintain them is all part of the aural education process.
  4. Learning to listen – Many people wait a long time before seeking treatment for their hearing loss. Because of this, there is often an adjustment period when the brain is re-learning how to listen to and interpret sounds that it hasn’t heard in a while. This learning process can be shortened if you seek treatment early, before your hearing loss progresses too far.
  5. Visual cues – When one sense is impaired, other senses can fill in the gaps, but only if they are trained to do so. Aural rehabilitation includes learning new strategies, such as lip reading or body language, to help make up for what you’re unable to hear.
  6. Assistive listening devices – Hearing aids are not the only devices that are used to help the hearing impaired. Modern technology also includes other assistive listening devices that work with hearing aids, or independently, to improve hearing in many different environments.

No matter what level of hearing loss or impairment you have, a hearing professional can design an aural rehabilitation plan that is tailored to your specific wants and needs. Schedule an appointment with an audiologist today and get on the road to better hearing.

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