Psychological and social effects of hearing impairment in various stages of life: Counseling considerations for audiologists

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Ohio State University. Department of Speech and Hearing Science

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As audiology continues to evolve as a profession, certain areas of the field that were previously only considered as afterthoughts are now being given more attention. With growing numbers of both children and adults being identified with hearing impairment, audiologists have come to discover and understand the significance and importance of the social and psychosocial effects of hearing impairment. By understanding these effects, audiologists are able to better understand what an individual with hearing impairment and their families are experiencing, and can better provide counseling, support, guidance, and resources. Hearing impairment has an impact on individuals in all stages of life, from early infancy to older adulthood. In order for audiologists to best be able to help patients of any age, the emotional, social, and psychosocial effects associated with hearing impairment need to be understood. This paper provides basic information regarding the experiences of some hearing impaired individuals and their families at different stages of life, with the intent that audiologists use this information to develop effective counseling strategies and to gain a sense of empathy and appreciation for what hearing impaired individuals experience.