Hard of Hearing Colorado SpringsFor those who are hard of hearing, Colorado Springs has a lot of support available. The Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is working to remove the barriers that those who have hearing difficulties face. It aims to do this partly through increasing access to hearing aids, and partly through making communication easier.

The loss of a sense is something that can affect people from all walks of life. Some children are born with poor hearing, some young people experience it as a result of an accident, illness or injury, and age-related loss is incredibly common. The good news is that in most cases these difficulties are not something that people need to accept.

Hard of hearing Can Impact Your Life

Most people don’t think about how much they rely on that sense on a day-to-day basis. If you have ever looked up how to do something online, you have probably noticed that text-based instructionals are fading away in favor of YouTube videos. Communicating with banks and businesses tends to take place via the telephone, and a lot of organizations expect people to ring to pay their bills as well.

Even getting around requires the use of all human sense. From listening for cars to communicating with shop assistants or even just understanding the conversations that are taking place with friends and family members in a busy group setting, ears are a sense that we use a lot.

The loss of one sense can put people at an increased risk of accidents, make it difficult to participate in day-to-day activities, and create a sense of social isolation. That’s why it’s so important to seek help quickly so that you can get the support you need to work around the limitations you are experiencing.

How Hearing Aids Can Help You Retain Independence

Most people who are hard of hearing in Colorado Springs could benefit from a hearing aid. There are some people for whom it wouldn’t work, but the most common causes of  damage to the small sensory cells located in the inner ear, and hearing aids can help to make up for that damage.

Technologies that improve hearing work by magnifying the sound that enters the ear, making it easier for the surviving cells to pick up on the vibrations caused by those sounds, converting those vibrations into signals that are then processed by the brain.

There are several different styles of hearing aid:

  • Behind the ear
  • In the ear
  • Canal / Completely-in-canal

Each type is worn slightly differently, and some people may find that certain designs are more comfortable for them than others, or simply more practical. For example, open-fit behind the ear devices are popular with people who suffer from earwax build-up. Meanwhile, in-the-ear devices are useful for people with severe hearing loss and are not usually worn by children because they sit inside the ear, and as a child is still growing they would need to have the devices casing re-fit quite regularly.

Getting Used to Using a Hearing Aid

Devices that improve hearing amplify sound, and this means that things can sometimes sound a bit different to normal. Your audiologist can help you adjust your hearing aid to get the best possible sound.

Some people experience an “occlusion effect”, where their own voice sounds too loud while they are wearing their hearing aid. This can usually be corrected so that it is not too annoying. Other common problems include feedback, buzzing sounds when using your cell phone, and excessive background noise. Again, these are things that people do not just need to accept. If your hearing aid is properly fitted and clear of wax or fluids, it should not create feedback or background noise. 

Support for individuals in Colorado

Children can access hearing aids via their insurance thanks to Senate Bill 08-057. Those who are over the age of 18 are not covered by this bill, however, there are state programs that may be of assistance.

The Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation assists students and job seekers with disabilities. This assistance can include help with the procurement of hearing aids.

The federal TRICARE program is aimed at military personnel and their family members and includes hearing aids for those who meet specific hearing thresholds or speech recognition scores. Military veterans who do not qualify under TRICARE may be able to get assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Retiree-At-Cost Hearing Aid Program.

If you choose to go the route of purchasing a hearing aid, remember that your audiologist is there to serve you and to make sure that you get a good experience. Your new device should be comfortable, produce an appropriate volume, and work well when you are in stores, talking to people behind counters, and engaged in conversations in a group setting. If you are not happy with the experience you are having, speak up and get your device adjusted or ask to try a different type. Today, the technology exists to give the vast majority of people a chance to enjoy social mobility and freedom.