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Hearing Help for Deafness and Hearing Loss

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Many if not most deaf and hard of hearing people can access at least some sound with the help of assistive devices like hearing aids and cochlear implants.
  1. What are Hearing Aids?
  2. Benefits of Hearing Aids
  3. Getting Hearing Aids
  4. Caring for Hearing Aids
  1. What are Cochlear Implants?
  2. Getting Cochlear Implants
  3. After Getting Cochlear Implants

What are Hearing Aids?

Today's hearing aids are small, to the point of being nearly invisible. Some in fact are invisible, because they are surgically implanted. However, hearing aids are usually not covered by health insurance, making paying for a pair difficult for many people. Whatever type of hearing aid you get, rest assured that the days of the bulky body aid are long gone.

Benefits of Hearing Aids

Why should you get a hearing aid? About.com readers discussed the benefits they got from hearing aids, and a study even showed that hearing aids can improve relationships.

Getting Hearing Aids

Insurance companies usually do not cover hearing aids, making it difficult for old and young alike to afford hearing aids. Some people believe hearing aids are overpriced. There are guidelines for buying hearing aids, which will help avoid becoming the victim of fraud. Finally, while digital hearing aids are overtaking analog hearing aids, analog hearing aids are still around, and are often a much less expensive alternative.

Caring for Hearing Aids

Hearing aids must be cared for carefully to avoid damage, particularly from the elements. A hearing aid relies on batteries. When hearing aids are no longer used, there are ways to recycle them and help others.

In addition, ear wax buildup can cause problems for hearing aid users.

What are Cochlear Implants?

Picture of mini-BTE from Cochlear

What are cochlear implants, and does everyone qualify for a cochlear implant? Who are the manufacturers of cochlear implants? Are there any support organizations for people considering an implant or who have already gotten implants?

Getting Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implants are usually, but not always, covered by insurance. Sources of help are available. After the cochlear implant surgery comes the activation experience, which is different for each user. About.com visitors read my own cochlear implant story, and can follow Tammy's journey from making the decision to get a cochlear implant to living with an implant.

After Getting Cochlear Implants

Getting the cochlear implant surgery is only the first step. In order to maximize benefit from an implant, rehabilitative therapy is needed. Implant speech processors need batteries. Sometimes, an implant does not work or the person has a physical reaction to the implant that results in having to have the implant removed. People often have questions about living with a cochlear implant, usually about sports or travel.

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