Beyond Hearing Aids
How Can I Further Improve My Communication?
While hearing aids are an excellent tool for improving someone’s access to sound, they may not be enough to overcome all listening environments. Background noise and listening at a distance are two environments where hearing aids can fall short. It is best that one’s hearing be treated not only at the ear level, but also with consideration to communication as a whole.
Better Hearing Workshop
The UNC Hearing and Communication Center offers an interactive seminar twice a month for patients and their families. This group discussion highlights the anatomy and physiology of hearing loss, how hearing technology works and communication strategies. Communication strategies are tips and modifications that both the speaker and the listener can employ to make it easier to have a conversation. This type of instruction is also known as Aural Rehabilitation. Research shows that participation in aural rehabilitation significantly improves patients’ satisfaction with their hearing devices and makes them better advocates. Our patients report an average of 30% improvement in their ability to understand and use communication strategies after attending.
See our list of EVENTS to find an upcoming Better Hearing Workshop class. Whether you’ve had hearing loss for years or have just been fit with hearing aids, no one leaves a Better Hearing Workshop without learning valuable information about their hearing. The group format also fosters social support among patients with similar experiences with hearing difficulties.
Another tool used to enhance a patient’s hearing abilities are assistive devices. These devices can work alongside a pair of hearing aids or independently. One common example of an assistive device is a remote microphone. A communication partner would wear a small clip on microphone, which then sends his/her voice wirelessly to the hearing aid user’s ears. It’s as if the partner were right next to the listener. This advantage can be most helpful in very noise places and when the speaker is a distance (like a lecture). Other types of assistive devices are used to improve communication on the phone or to improve safety. Speak with one of our audiologists to see if the addition of an assistive device would be beneficial to you!