Rehabilitation for adults: Hearing loss and tinnitus

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Ohio State University. Department of Speech and Hearing Science

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Hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the United States. Studies on the prevalence of hearing loss and tinnitus reveal that, with a growing older population, the number of individuals needing rehabilitation for hearing loss and tinnitus will greatly increase (Cruickahnks, Wiley, Tweed, Klein, Klein, Mares-Perlman, & Nondahl, 1998; Nondahl, Cruickshanks, Wiley, Klein, Klein, & Tweed, 2002). Hearing loss rehabilitation can include many different strategies, including hearing aids, communication strategies, and auditory training. Research has suggested that all of the above mentioned strategies for hearing loss rehabilitation work for patients in improving quality of life (QOL) and communication. Tinnitus rehabilitation also has several methods that aim at managing tinnitus for a patient. These strategies, which include the tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) and the Neuromonics tinnitus program, have been shown to succeed in decreasing a patient’s perception of the tinnitus. All of the above mentioned methods, when used for the rehabilitation of hearing loss and tinnitus, have been shown to positively affect a patient by means of improving QOL, communication, and satisfaction with the rehabilitation services offered.