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Make Helping Your Hearing Loss Your New Year's Resolution

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The New Year is always a good time to take stock of where we are in life and what we'd like to change.  Setting goals and making resolutions are great, but taking concrete action to make sure we reach our goals is even greater! 

If hearing loss has been impacting your life or the life of your loved one, here are some concrete actions you can take to make living with hearing loss more manageable in 2018: 

1.Get your hearing tested. Are you still wondering if you have hearing loss? Schedule an appointment with an audiologist right now. 

2. Wear your hearing aids consistently.  If you already have hearing aids but do not wear them on a regular basis, resolve to keep them in, even when it gets challenging.   Your brain will adapt to amplified sound the more regularly you wear your hearing aids. 

3. Explore new technologies. Your hearing aids may be ready for an upgrade.  Newer technology and/or assistive listening devices perform better and/or may address new hearing needs that arise as your hearing loss changes.  Schedule a risk-free demonstration and trial of new technology today to evaluate the improvement for yourself.   

4. Advocate for yourself.   Don't be embarrassed to let people know that you have hearing loss.  Let others know how they can help you by using communication strategies to augment the benefit you get from hearing aids.  

5. Volunteer to help others with hearing loss.  If you are farther along in your hearing journey, help others who are newly diagnosed and struggling with the same challenges you are.  Look for hearing loss advocacy efforts in your community.   Spread the word at your house of worship or community theater about looping or captioning options.  Can you help at a local non-profit?  Start a support group for those living with hearing loss?  Giving helps the giver as much as the recipient.  

6. Meet other people with hearing loss. Find a local HLAA chapter and go to the meetings or peruse their website.   Participate in Houston's annual Walk for Hearing to help raise awareness of hearing loss in our community.  Put the date on your calendar now.  

7. Read about hearing loss.   Several good books about hearing loss are available, as well as many online blogs.  Hearing loss can be isolating, and reading about others' experiences will let you know that you are not alone.  Start by reading a review of one good book here

8. Sign up for an aural rehabilitation program.  Sometimes hearing aids are not enough, and auditory exercises are needed to maximize your success with hearing aids.  A new online program called clEARWorks can be done at your own pace and can improve your hearing skills, and it is even fun!  Click here for more information about the clEARWorks online auditory rehabilitation program. 

What will you do to help your hearing loss in 2018?