For those experiencing hearing loss, a lot of things in your life are different than they used to be. Not only is it more difficult to communicate with people, but it’s also harder to enjoy the same activities you used to. There was a time when you could just show up at a concert venue and appreciate what was going on. However, now you find it difficult to get the full experience because the sounds are fainter and less distinct. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that you must give up on some of your favorite live performances or musical shows. There are ways that you can still enjoy these things even with your hearing loss.
Work with an Audiologist
Audiologists are professionals who can evaluate and diagnose as well as treat and manage hearing loss. And they can help you deal with your hearing loss in a multitude of ways. To start, audiologists can determine the specific cause of your condition, as well as its extent, by performing different hearing tests. These specialists can tell you whether your hearing loss is the result of nerve damage, exposure to loud noise, a genetic condition, an illness or another cause. Each of these different problems has different solutions, and an audiologist helps you understand what solutions are best for you. Furthermore, audiologists work with you on an ongoing basis to monitor your hearing and find out how to keep it from deteriorating further. These hearing experts aim to help you have the best possible quality of life while answering all questions you may have about your condition.
More About Music Appreciation
However, not all audiologists have specialized training in translating music signals for hearing aids as well as how you experience music differently from regular speech. As a result, it is important to talk to your audiologist and find out where his or her specialization lies. See if your audiologist can refer you to someone who has more expertise in the specific area of music appreciation.
Use a Hearing Aid
When enjoying live music, hearing aids can’t always help you the same way that they can in conversations with people. That’s because hearing aids specifically translate sounds into signals sent to your brain. Those signals, in turn, help you to understand and interpret human speech. Hearing aids make it possible to better hear the sounds around you.
Picking Up Emotion
However, music is conveyed not just through language but through emotion. Therefore, it is harder for hearing aids to specifically pick up on which sounds in a musical performance you want your brain to hear. As a result, you may find it helpful to use an OTC hearing aid versus a prescription hearing aid. An over the counter hearing aid increases the signals from all sounds that reach the ear so you can hear music more powerfully even if it normally sounds faint to you.
Minimize Further Hearing Loss
This may sound counterintuitive, but in order to hear more, you may actually need to hear less. Specialists say that you should use earplugs at concerts in order to minimize any further damage to your eardrum or inner ear.
Limit Potential Damage
This damage results from an extremely loud noise and can lead to hearing loss. Thus, if you love going to concerts but find that you’re not able to hear music that’s quieter, you should try reducing loud noise intake by using earplugs so that you’re still able to hear when it comes to sounds that are fainter.
Utilize Different Devices
Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the law requires theaters that seat more than 50 people to provide hearing assistance. This mostly happens through infrared technology. This advance can be extremely helpful if you have mild hearing loss and don’t use a hearing aid, as the theater will provide you with headphones so that you can hear what is going on. Even if you do use a hearing aid, you can use over-the-ear headphones.
Add to a Hearing Aid
Another option is using a telecoil. For around $100, you can add this device to your hearing aid. A telecoil uses infrared technology to transmit sounds. Theaters that have installed induction looping allow you to just switch to your telecoil when you want to hear the signal from the show. Pricing for adding on to a prescription hearing aid can vary drastically, but in some cases may be worth the cost.
For musicals and other live performances that involve speech, try using a captioning device. A caption device which provides a transcript of the musical so that you can understand what people are saying even if you can’t hear it directly. Caption devices are available for many popular musicals, including “The Lion King,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Aladdin,” “Jersey Boys” and “Wicked.”
Fortunately, there are effective ways for people who experience hearing loss to enjoy live performances. With some planning ahead, you can appreciate a variety of events.
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