New to Hearing Loss
Hearing Loss Basics
Hearing Loss Issues
What Can I Do About My Hearing Loss?
This page is intended for those of you who are new to
hearing loss. We don't necessarily mean that you have a hearing
loss yourself, only that you don't know much about hearing loss and
would like to know more. If you're a friend or family member of a person
with hearing loss, welcome! Whatever your reason for being here, we hope
you will benefit from your experience. We've included an email link at
the bottom of this page for your feedback!
The first thing we'd like to suggest is that you
bookmark this site so you can easily revisit it.
What you'll find on this page is a bunch of links to
information that answers the most questions most commonly asked by
people who are new to hearing loss. Pick a link that interests you and
follow it as far as you like. Then use the "Back" button to
get back to this page so you can explore a different topic. Ready?
OK, the first thing you might want to do is learn about
the various members of the hearing loss community. Does a person who
loses his hearing normally learn sign language? Are there really people
who would choose to remain deaf if they could hear? Learn about the
various components of the hearing loss community on our Who's
Have you run across some hearing loss terms that might
as well be Greek? Our Glossary will help you
make sense of all the new terminology.
If you're a baby boomer whose hearing is deserting you,
you've got lots of company. Hearing
loss is practically an epidemic among boomers.
And I'm sure you want to know what caused your hearing
loss. As hard as it might be to believe, most people never really know
what caused their loss. But, if you want to see what some of the common
(and not so common) causes are, visit our causes
of hearing loss page.
People with hearing loss are concerned with lots of
issues, from "Why doesn't my health insurance cover hearing
aids?" to "How will my hearing loss affect my
employment?" to "How do I learn to enjoy social activities
again?" You'll eventually confront these and many other issues. If
you've got lots of time and want to become familiar with many of these
issues, you can brew a fresh pot and visit our Issues page (I'll give
you the link later ;-).
But I'd suggest that you limit your inquiry to just a
couple of the most immediate issues for now. Your most immediate concern
may be the effect your hearing loss has had on your formerly cheery
personality. You may be beating yourself over the head because you can't
shake this depression. We don't have any magic cures, but it may help
you to know that what you're experiencing is normal, and that you will
become better at coping with your hearing loss. Explore these concepts
on our Psychology of Hearing Loss
A close second in terms of immediacy may be the effect
your hearing loss is having on your family, particularly your spouse.
You may be surprised to learn that some of your marital issues are a
direct result of your hearing loss. Check out our hearing loss and family members
page for more about what might be going on here and what you can do
The third issue you may want to address now is oral
communications. It's really hard, right? Wears you out? That hearing
loss impacts oral communications is pretty obvious; how it happens and
what you can do about it are less clear. Here are some thoughts on what
you can do to improve oral communications.
OK, want to look at some more issues? I'm betting you
want to move on to "What Can I Do About My Hearing Loss?", but
you can check out more issues on our Issues
Unfortunately, there's probably nothing you can do to restore
your natural hearing. Doctors just don't know enough about hearing to be able to
do that. And you probably also can't "fix" your hearing loss
in the sense that you can fix poor vision by wearing glasses. The
available hearing technology isn't that good. What you can do is learn
to cope with your hearing loss, and you can almost certainly do a lot
better job of this than you think you can.
Hearing Loss Organizations
In my humble opinion, the very best thing you can do
about your hearing loss is to spend time with other people who have
hearing loss. You say you don't know any? Let's see if we can fix that.
If you visit our Hearing Loss Organizations page (I'll give you that
link later ;-), you'll see that there are lots of organizations that are
trying to help. I'm going to recommend three for you to start with.
If you live near a city, there may be a local chapter of
the Association of Late Deafened
Adults (ALDA) or Hearing Loss Association
of America (HLAA) near you. You can find out by
following the links to the home pages of these organizations and looking
at their chapter list. If you are fortunate enough to have a chapter
near, contact them NOW (I'll wait) and arrange to attend their next
If you don't have a local ALDA or SHHH chapter, you
should join the SayWhatClub. You
should probably join even if you have a local ALDA or SHHH chapter. They
have incredible interaction online, so you can participate no matter
where you live. And you can have daily, even hourly contact with other
people with hearing loss.
I can't stress this enough. Join at least one of these
Oh yeah, here's the promised link
to a list of hearing loss organizations.
If you haven't already told your doctor about your
hearing loss, you should do that right away. He will examine you to rule
out medical conditions that can cause hearing loss. He may also refer
you to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat specialist) for additional
Now that you've been to the doctor and gotten in touch with other people with hearing
loss, chances are you'll want to think about getting hearing aids. We've got lots
of information about how to select hearing aids, how to care for them,
etc., and you'll want to read all of that. But there's nothing like
the personal experience of your new hearing loss friends to help you
select the right hearing aids and the right place to buy them.
OK, that's it for the "Guided
Tour". You've barely scratched the surface of the information on
this site, so take a moment to browse other topics of interest.
You might want to check out our Resources
Directory, where we have assembled lots of information on a
multitude of products and services that assist people with hearing loss.
If you're interested in organizations and services
in your area, please visit our Local
Resource Directory and select your city. Here you'll find things
like captioned movie listings, hearing aid dispensers, churches that
provide accommodations to people with hearing loss, etc.
have bookmarked this site, right?
Questions and Comments
We sincerely hope you've benefited from our tour. If you
have other topics you think we should cover in our introduction, or if
you have other questions or comments, please let
If you would like to address a question or comment to
the general community, please visit our Discussion