Young Australians are eligible for Australian Hearing's program until their 21st birthday.
Teenagers or young adults with a hearing loss have particular hearing needs. Schooling is more demanding as you move through secondary school or start university. You may have part-time work or your first full-time job. Your social life is probably getting busier too. You will also be thinking about the future.
When you were young, your parents probably took on most of the responsibility for your hearing devices. Now that you are more independent you will be taking more responsibility for managing your hearing loss and hearing devices or cochlear implant.
Helping young people manage their hearing independently
Our aim at Australian Hearing is to make sure that by the time our clients turn 21 they have all the information they need to manage their hearing needs independently.
Do you know as much as you would like to about your hearing and the support options available to you? We find that our young adult clients have many questions about the future, including how best to cope with their hearing loss in the workplace and whether they are likely to have a deaf or hearing-impaired child themselves.
Look at the list below. You can find general information by clicking on the links. At your next appointment you can talk to your audiologist about your individual hearing loss and hearing needs.
Your hearing loss
Do you know:
Ask your audiologist for a copy of your audiogram, if you don't already have one.
What caused your hearing loss? There are many different causes of hearing loss. People have many reasons for wanting to find out the cause of their hearing loss, but the main reasons are:
If you and your parents do not know the reason for your hearing loss, you can ask your doctor for a referral for further investigations. You might be referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist or for genetic counselling.
Modern hearing aids offer a wide range of features to help in different listening situations. When choosing a new hearing aid it is important to think about where you need help with your hearing.
Every person is an individual. However many people in different age groups share a range of common hearing and communication needs. The following ideas may be useful to help you think about your own individual needs.
Some examples of typical hearing and communication goals for teenagers and young adults
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Assistive listening devices and FM systems can also help:
Hearing aid technology will help you to achieve some but not necessarily all communication goals. Clients who use cochlear implants or hearing aids can also benefit from using Assistive Listening Devices and FM systems.
Assistive technology can provide a way to connect your hearing aid or cochlear implant to other equipment such as the TV, stereo, telephone or computer. Other assistive devices provide visual or warnings, such as flashing doorbell light or vibrating alarm clocks.
You should also think about other personal preferences:
Talk to your audiologist about your individual listening needs and preferences. They can help you to decide more clearly about the features that would be of most benefit in your hearing aid.
Cochlear implants are an option for some clients with a severe to profound hearing loss. Your audiologist can help you to contact your local Cochlear implant clinic. Australian Hearing supports Cochlear implantees under 21 years of age by providing repairs, replacement parts, upgrade and replacement processors. See Services for clients with cochlear implants.
What happens after I turn 21?
"Without my hearing aids, I would not be able to be out there, independent in the real world. I would not even dare to put my foot out of the door."
University student Feifei Fan, who has worn hearing aids since she was three. (Hear & Now 2003)
"I have dealt with my hearing loss by wearing hearing aids, using hearing tactics, and having good support from my family. Hearing aids are no big deal for me. If you can't see well you wear glasses, if people don't want to go grey, they use a hair colour, if you can't hear properly, you wear a hearing aid."
Tom Rutherford (Hear & Now 2001)
Tell us what you'd like to know
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