Aural rehabilitation utilizes strategies and practices to help patients with hearing loss better adapt to their environment and enjoy a better quality of life. Aural rehabilitation begins with a thorough audiologic evaluation and a prescription of a hearing device or cochlear implant.
Benefits of Aural Rehabilitation
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, aural rehabilitation has been very beneficial in helping patients
- Reduce their perception of hearing difficulties.
- Improve their perception of quality of life.
- Improve their effective use of hearing technology and communication strategies.
- Improve their adjustment to living with hearing aids.
Hearing Aid Technology
Hearing aid technology helps in background noise with the following features:
- Automatic Switching
- Directional Microphones and Noise Filtering
- Real Ear Verification Testing
- Smartphone Applications
Your audiologist can help you understand and experience the best that hearing technology has to offer with correct programming adjustments.
Needs Assessments are done to help patients identify important experiences in life where they need help. These assessments are often done after patients have completed an audiologic evaluation and have been fitted with a hearing device or cochlear implant.
The following are examples of life experiences where patients may need help:
- Understanding Speech in the Presence of Noise
- Maintaining Attention and Focus in the Presence of Noise
- Overcoming Listening Fatigue When a Communication Breakdown Occurs
- Overcoming Stress Reactions When a Communication Breakdown Occurs
Hearing Loss Management Plan
Needs Assessments help patients recognize moments of stress, and consequently they are less likely to retreat from a social situation due to hearing difficulties, and are more likely to engage for more satisfying outcomes. Aural rehabilitation teaches patients specific strategies on how to take charge of communication in social situations for better results and they are made part of the patients’ hearing loss management plan. Some of the strategies that patients can try include:
- Hearing Assistive Technology And / Or Captions
- Auditory Training Sessions To Build Stamina for Listening or Sustained Attention
- Communication Strategies
- Relaxation Techniques
- Peer Support Groups To Build Confidence, Skill Sets, and Social Support
- Face-to-Face Coaching With Auditory Training Specialist (e.g., Audiologist, Speech/Language Pathologist)
LACE® (Listening and Communication Enhancement) is an online auditory training program designed to help patients improve listening stamina and sustain attention in challenging listening situations.
LACE® Auditory Training programs, conceived by leading audiologists at the University of California at San Francisco and implemented by Silicon Valley software veterans, retrain the brain to comprehend speech up to 40% better in difficult listening situations such as:
- Noisy restaurants
- Rapid speakers
- Competing speakers
Just as physical therapy can help rebuild muscles and adjust movements to compensate for physical weakness or injury, LACE® can help patients develop skills and learn strategies for dealing with situations when hearing is inadequate. Learn More
Patients can implement several communication strategies to take charge of communication in social situations for better outcomes.
- Gain the attention of the person you are trying to speak to by saying the person’s name out loud, or tapping a shoulder or arm lightly, or walking in front of his/her sight to get the person’s attention.
- Make sure you are facing the person so as not to miss any facial cues.
- Speak clearly, not loudly.
- Don’t get frustrated if you have to repeat something. Try rephrasing what you are saying, and again speak clearly.
- Avoid noisy areas in a restaurant, like in the middle of the dining room. Ask for a quieter place where there isn’t so much background noise.