Aural rehabilitation (AR) can be defined as a holistic approach to improving the quality of life of someone with hearing loss through multiple strategies, including sensory management, instruction, perceptual training and counseling. In short, it is a combination of strategies to help someone live the life they want to live with their hearing loss. Below we review some of the steps and methods of aural rehabilitation.
Thorough Audiological Assessment
The first step toward better hearing and communication is to have a thorough understanding of your hearing ability. To do this, you’ll need to get a comprehensive evaluation with a licensed audiologist. A comprehensive evaluation usually involves several individual tests, which may include:
- Pure tone audiometry
- Speech testing
- Auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing
- Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) testing
These tests can reveal the exact type and degree of hearing loss you have in each ear.
As part of your appointment, your audiologist will also conduct a needs assessment. To prepare for the needs assessment, it would be helpful for you to compile a list of situations where you have trouble hearing and what your goal would be for each scenario. Some examples would include being able to hear your grandchildren’s whispered secrets, the high notes at The Florida Orchestra or the voice of your date when out to dinner.
For most people with hearing loss, getting a prescribed device such as a hearing aid or cochlear implant is part of helping you achieve the goals laid out in your needs assessment. Hearing aids are worn on or in the ear and work by amplifying sounds to a level your ears can detect, while cochlear implants work by bypassing the damaged parts of your ear and directly stimulating the auditory nerve.
Many audiologists also provide counseling on communication strategies to help you converse and follow along with greater ease. This is especially important in the months leading up to the holidays, where you’ll find yourself in complex listening situations.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert who can help with aural rehabilitation, call Kampsen Hearing today.