Technology has made it possible for us to treat hearing impairment to a certain degree. The type of treatment depends on the cause of the hearing impairment and the severity thereof. It can also happen that no treatment is suitable or that what is available doesn’t work. However, there are different treatments available and they have helped many people hear for the first time or hear again. Technology keeps improving and more options become available to restore hearing.
The options for hearing impairment basically consist of two categories or equipment and one category of education. In other words, you can choose from hearing aids or hearing implants for the equipment or you can go with learning sign language and learning to lip read.
A hearing aid is that thing you generally think of your grandparents wearing. It is a small device that makes sounds louder in the ear. These aids cannot repair your hearing to full capacity. It simply makes things louder and clearer so you can hear it. There are different options for hearing aids that include behind the ear, in the ear, and in the canal. These are different in sizes and where they are placed.
If hearing aids do not work to restore some hearing, the next step may be hearing implants. For people with more severe hearing damage, implants tend to work better. The device is implanted into the person’s skull to help improve hearing. The different types include cochlear implants, bone-anchored hearing aids, and auditory brainstem implants. These devices require an operation for implantation. The choice of the device here will depend on different factors. These factors may include costs, the severity of damage, age, and other health complications.
When no devices can help or when a person doesn’t want to make use of a hearing aid or implant, they can learn alternative ways of communication. Sign language is the most common option for people who cannot hear. There are different ways to learn and it is helpful when family and friends also learn. Lip reading is also a good skill to have. This is especially helpful if the person can still speak even though he or she can no longer hear clearly. By reading a person’s lips as they speak, you can determine what words they are saying and respond accordingly.
Hearing impairment is rarely completely reversible. There are many options and technology keeps giving us more options. For most people, the costs involved may delay the process or make it an impossible option. However, many people have been helped to hear for the first time through existing options.