Facing challenges is always easier with the help of others. If you’re new to hearing loss (or even if you’re not!), who can you talk to, turn to for advice? Where can you find those who may be going through a similar situation? How can you find your hard of hearing community?
Your first line of defense will probably end up being your most ardent support system. With the help of your primary care physician and audiologist, you can meet nearly any hearing difficulty head-on with information and advice.
An audiologist will take you through different styles and models of hearing aids. They will offer their opinion on the best ways to keep your ears safe, and they’ll often suggest techniques to practice brain training and comprehension habits for the future. They will not only guide your expectations and answer your questions, but they can also recommend activities and groups to help acclimate you and your ears to any new sound environment.
How to Find Online Communities
With the internet, the hard of hearing world has never been more accessible. But how do you go about finding that certain special group that seems to speak directly to you?
1. Google! Try and find some online communities through online searches. This casts a wide net, but can be a good place to start.
2. Search Facebook or social media for national or local organizations. On-the-web get-togethers can be just as helpful as in-person meetings.
3. Be patient! Finding an organization, message board, or a series of blogs you find helpful — where you feel comfortable — is often a personal process. It can take some time. There’s no rush!
4. Ask around! Talk to your audiologist and the staff at your doctors’s offices, or check out Meetup.com. The more people you talk to, the more ideas and options you’ll have.
1. If you’re local to us at REM Audiology, the Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre in Philadelphia might be worth your time. “We’re focused on creating opportunities for Deaf individuals to become more participatory members of Philadelphia through work, fellowship, and community activism,” their website states.
2. Or consider the NAD (National Association of the Deaf). Though geared more towards legal matters and advocacy, the NAD website has a full list of links and ideas that can help you pursue your research.
3. Sites like Healthy Hearing and Hearing Like Me always have good ideas and often list sites you may find helpful (such as: Hearing Health & Technology Matters – life as a hard of hearing consumer).
Asking for help is always something we encourage our patients to do. It’s easier to walk together than it is to walk alone.