Don’t Forget Assistive Listening Devices: They’re Not What They Used to Be

By Paul Teie: For Complete Post, Click Here…

All a person has to do to hear better is to wear hearing aids.  Slap on a pair and the world will be your oyster.  No more problems.  Easy peasy!  

Or maybe not?  Definitely not!  Hearing aids are a tool.  All too often it is the only tool offered to our patients.  In that we do our patients a disservice because there are so many other useful implements at our disposal.  

Good old-fashioned aural rehab (or as my mentor Henry Tobin used to insist on calling it – audiologic habilitation) gets way too short shrift these days.  It doesn’t pay, it’s too time-consuming and convincing patients it’s time well-spent isn’t easy.  I get it.  But still, it’s a shame.  I’m not saying we should be teaching cued speech.  But a simple list of suggested behavior adjustments would be extremely helpful to most of our patients.  I used to give out a document I called The Rules (for family and friends of hearing impaired people) that noted that hearing aids do not restore “normal” hearing and listed a few simple steps they could employ to make everyone’s lives a little more pleasant.  I recently blew the dust off an old copy and gave it to my mother-in-law who had been experiencing issues with one of her daughters’ unrealistic expectations. 

And then there are assistive listening devices.  We should be routinely talking to our patients about these extremely helpful tools. 

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