Aural Rehabilitation for Adults: Purpose, Types & Components

Aural Rehabilitation for Adults: Purpose, Types & Components

According to the CDC, hearing loss affected around 48 million Americans between 2001-2008. Even though hearing impairments are linked to aging, more than half of all individuals with hearing loss are under the age of 65. Loud sounds, ear infections, ear trauma, ear disease, illness and disease, certain medications, and, of course, the aging process are all causes of hearing loss. 

The team at Quality Life Services offers aural rehabilitation to adults. Our highly qualified and compassionate specialists will assist you or a loved one with our first-rate program for hearing loss and speech articulation issues. 

This article covers what aural rehabilitation involves and what objectives it aims to achieve.

What Is Adult Aural Rehabilitation?

Adult Aural rehabilitation offers ways to help adults with hearing loss communicate better. This type of therapy aims to restore conversational skills and eliminate hearing loss constraints, enhancing the quality of life.

Adult aural rehabilitation can be described as the comprehensive reduction of hearing-loss-induced deficiencies in function, activity, involvement, and quality of life through sensory management, education, perceptual training, and counseling.

Audiologists focus on sensory management, considering aural rehabilitation after using hearing aids or cochlear implants. Although improved activity, involvement, and quality of life can result from effective sensory management, there is no guarantee that these results will be optimal or guaranteed.

What Is the Goal of Aural Rehabilitation?

Auditory rehabilitation aims to minimize or eliminate various deficits and return the individual to their pre-loss condition. Part of current auditory research’s long-term objectives is to restore cochlear function in people by regenerating functioning hair cells and their neural connections.

Types of aural rehabilitation therapies

  • Hearing aid orientation: 

This involves teaching people (individuals or groups) and their families about the benefits and limitations of wearing hearing aids to improve communication.

  • Listening strategies: 

To improve their communication, the process of educating deaf people about common and alternative listening strategies with or without amplification.

  • Speechreading: 

The process of teaching understanding communication is by observing visual signals from the speaker’s mouth, facial expressions, and hand motions.

  • Auditory training: 

This involves educating a person with a hearing loss to recognize speech sounds, patterns, words, phrases, or sentences through audition.

  • Unisensory: 

A therapy philosophy centered on the extreme development of a single sense to improve communication.

  • Cued speech: 

The process of employing and teaching manual hand or facial movements to enhance an auditory-verbal approach to communication competency development.

  • Total communication: 

This involves the use and instruction of speech, language, and communication skills simultaneously through manual communication, speech, and hearing.

  • Manual communication: 

A technique of communicating using finger-spelling and sign language is called manual communication.

Aural Rehabilitation Components

The aural rehabilitation process consists of four components:

  • Sensory management—targeting and improving auditory function.
  • Instruction—in order to improve the likelihood of a favorable outcome from sensory control.
  • Perceptual training—to enhance learning possibilities afforded by ordinary communication
  • Counseling—to address difficulties of participation and quality of life caused by residual functional and activity impairments.

Who Is a Candidate for Aural Rehabilitation?

Anyone with hearing loss who is having trouble communicating may be a potential candidate for aural rehabilitation. Aural rehabilitation may be beneficial if you withdraw from things you used to like because it is too difficult to hear or stay engaged in discussions. Aural rehabilitation may help you if you are often frustrated when trying to listen.

Who Provides Aural Rehabilitation Services?

Aural rehabilitation refers to a set of treatments in which each therapy and amplification equipment aims to help people overcome the handicap (disability) caused by a hearing impairment or deafness. Aural rehabilitation is usually a collaborative effort involving physicians, audiologists, and speech-language therapists.

What Can Be Expected from an Aural Rehabilitation Program?

In an aural rehabilitation programme, effective treatments for hearing loss may include:

  1. Assistive and alerting devices
  2. Communication tips
  3. Hearing aids
  4. Auditory training

Assistive and Alerting Devices

Assistive listening devices (ALDs) can be used in conjunction with or instead of hearing aids, cochlear implants, and bone-anchored implants, to make sounds more accessible to persons with varying degrees of hearing impairment.

Many persons with hearing loss rely on or benefit from ALD to achieve or maintain a comfortable degree of independence in their everyday lives.

ALDs differ based on the scenario and the degree of hearing impairment. Among these gadgets are:

  • Remote microphones
  • FM radio and sound field systems
  • T-coils and loop systems
  • Alert devices (e.g., flashing doorbell ringer, vibrating alarm clock)

Some ALDs, including Bluetooth streaming, TV headsets, and closed captions, are already in use!

Communication Tips

Your audiologist will also help you with communication tactics such as, but not limited to:

Avoid saying,  “What?” or “Huh?

Rather, make a particular clarifying request. Make it clear what you did and did not understand. If the speaker mumbles or talks quietly request that they speak more clearly or loudly. Request that the person speaking slow down and take gaps between thoughts (but not draaawwww ouuuuutttt wooooorrrrds!) Encourage those you are speaking with not to cover their lips with their hand when speaking.

Notify the people around you when there’s a problem

Your hearing issue and, most likely, your hearing aids are not visible to others with whom you interact. They may neglect to communicate in a way that is beneficial to you. 

One strategy is to explain that you are eager to hear what they have to say and that you would want to use a cue, such as touching your ear or lips, to remind them of the best methods to communicate with you.

Reduce ambient noise

Background noise (music, people chatting, dishes clattering, television, etc.) can make understanding speech more difficult for hearing loss and/or hearing aids. Prepare for challenging listening circumstances by planning your communication approach. 

You could go to calmer restaurants with soft furniture and high-back booths, move the social gathering from the kitchen to the carpeted area, or turn off the TV and music to chat. These tactics can be used with the assistance of your audiologist.

Face the individual 

Inform your family, coworkers, physicians, and friends that seeing their faces allows you to communicate more readily. When speaking, they should look at you, not from behind or in another room.

Pay close attention

When your attention is diverted to something else, such as an email or a television show, it is normal to misinterpret what someone says. Remind others to gain your attention first by calling your name or tapping you on the shoulder, so you can listen.

It takes two to tango. It requires two people to communicate. Yes, many individuals mumble, speak too quickly, cover their lips, and/or lower their voice loudness towards the conclusion of phrases. If you’re using hearing aids and paying attention, you’re doing your part to communicate effectively, and you should be proud of yourself! 

Remember that communication patterns are challenging to modify. You may need to remind those you talk to frequently of the best ways to communicate with you. They will most likely find these tactics helpful when speaking with everyone, not only those with hearing loss!

Hearing aids

Many people with hearing loss can considerably enhance their hearing with properly fitted hearing aids. Based on your hearing, aesthetic choices, lifestyle, and communication needs, your audiologist or physician will prescribe certain kinds and types of hearing aids.

Auditory conditioning

Listening is a talent that can be honed and refined. Some audiologists may suggest exercises or programs to enhance abilities like speechreading, hearing in noise and speech discrimination.

Is Aural Rehabilitation Beneficial?

A successful auditory rehabilitation program improves a person’s communication ability. It can have long-term impacts on social activity participation, lowering mental load during talks and enhancing the general quality of life. 

While aural rehabilitation can be beneficial, it does depend on what component of auditory rehabilitation is being discussed, how successfully it is being done, the goals being sought, the characteristics of the individual being treated, and the suitability of the result measure concerning the goals.

Aural Rehabilitation Therapy in Cincinnati, Ohio

Do you or your loved one have difficulty hearing or communicating? Reach out to the team at Quality Life Services. Our experts can help you to overcome your communication barriers with our range of services, including aural rehabilitation and speech articulation. Contact us today to request a phone call or to book an appointment.