Age-Related Hearing Loss: How Can a Speech-Language Pathologist Help?

13_50Over the past 30 years, the number of people in the United States with a hearing loss has more than doubled. Although many people brush off hearing loss as a “minor” problem, particularly in the early stages, hearing loss can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Last week, we discussed some of the ways that hearing loss can effect a person’s life, from increased rates of depression and anxiety to a correlation with decreased cognitive function.

One important way to decrease the impact of hearing loss on your day-to-day life is to seek professional intervention. An audiologist can assess hearing ability and determine what type of assistive device is best given your everyday activities and particular type of hearing loss. People who develop hearing loss can also benefit from the help of a speech-language pathologist. A speech therapist is professionally trained to help maximize communication and help others speak and listen to the best of their ability. A speech-language pathologist can help in the world of hearing loss in several ways. First, they play an integral role in helping the individual and their family to understand their particular type of hearing loss and how it will affect them on a day-to-day basis. In addition, a speech-therapist can help you develop communication strategies and compensatory techniques to improve communication in the presence of a hearing loss. The speech-language pathologist can work with a patient to “learn to listen” with their hearing loss by focusing on the range of sounds that are clear to them, distinguishing between them, and using them to better understand the speech of others. Finally, speech-language therapy often involves learning to use non-verbal communication skills like facial expression, gesture, and lip-reading to compensate for decreased hearing.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about speech-language therapy, give me a call at (212) 308-7725 or send an e-mail to I’d be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.

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