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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Hearing loss means you have trouble hearing or you cannot hear at all in one or both ears. Hearing loss can happen suddenly or slowly over time.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or audiologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Manage your hearing loss:
- Protect your hearing: Use ear plugs or ear protectors if you do activities that are very loud. These include using a lawnmower and power tools or going to a concert that has loud music. Use well-fitting foam earplugs that completely block your ear canal. Do not listen to loud music through headphones or earphones.
- If you have hearing aids, wear them regularly: Talk to your primary healthcare provider if you are having trouble using your hearing aid.
- Consider assistive listening devices (ALDs): Whether you wear hearing aids or not, ALDs can help you hear the TV, phone, and doorbell better. You can use ALDs in places such as classrooms, movie theaters, and museums.
- Ask about cochlear implants: If hearing aids do not help you, talk to your primary healthcare provider. Ask if cochlear implants can help you hear better. These implants are placed in your inner ear during surgery.
- Tell people that you have hearing loss: Ask people to face you directly when they speak to you. Ask people not to cover their mouths as they speak. When you are in a group setting, sit in a location where you can clearly see the faces of the people who are talking. Ask people not to speak loudly or shout when they speak to you if they do this. People should speak using their usual tone and volume. Try to talk to others in a quiet place. Background noise makes it harder for you to hear.
- Pay close attention to your surroundings when you drive: Do not talk to people in your car while you are driving. Watch for problems on the road or approaching emergency vehicles.
For support and more information:
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard
Rockville , MD 20850-3289
Phone: 1- 800 - 638-8255
Web Address: http://www.asha.org
- Better Hearing Institute
1444 I Street NW, Suite 700
Washington , DC 20005
Phone: 1- 202 - 449-1100
Web Address: www.betterhearing.org
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have ear pain that is getting worse.
- You have ringing in your ears or dizziness that will not go away.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have fluid, pus, or blood leaking from your ear.
- You have sudden, severe hearing loss.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.