Hearing impairment as you grow older

As humans in the developed world, we are living longer and with this ageing process comes natural wear and tear. Reduced vision, arthritis and hearing loss are just some examples of natural deterioration. Ageing and hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells in our cochlear but can also be accelerated by other conditions. There are many health care centres that specialise in hearing related problems and the first step is to acknowledge there is a hearing difficulty and get your hearing assessed. You can visit the site http://pinnaclear.co.uk for more information.

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What to expect from a hearing assessment

The main aim of the assessment is to establish the degree of hearing loss but first the Audiologist will aim to build an ‘ear picture’; this will be done by asking a thorough history and talking through your current difficulties and expectations, they will then examine your ears with an otoscope before proceeding to the hearing test or Audiometry. During Audiometry they will place headphones over your ears and a separate one behind your ear whilst asking you to listen to some sounds, which will then give the Audiologist an Audiogram with your results.

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Communicating with a person with hearing impairment

Communication is a two way process, however, when a person has a hearing loss it can be difficult to understand what the other person is saying, especially in background noise. Think about whether the person has a better listening ear. You can also have physical contact like touching their hand or shoulder to make them aware that you’re talking to them. Maintaining eye contact with the person is utmost necessary so they are able to lip read and read facial expressions in order to follow the conversation better, lighting will also help with this. Speak naturally; there is no need to shout or mumble. Instead of repeating things, rephrase your words to help the person understand and follow the conversation better. It may be necessary to turn down the background sound of the radio or television and then talk to the person. For six handy communication tips head to the ageing and hearing loss blog.