As many as one in six New Zealanders have hearing loss, but people’s symptoms and communication challenges vary greatly, according to Rotorua hearing therapist, Leeanne Skudder.
Leeanne says the goal is to work with the client to find what works best for them. “Some people think that hearing loss means they have to have hearing aids, but that isn’t always the case.”
After completing a hearing assessment, Leeanne will discuss all the options available to help manage hearing loss. “People are always surprised by all the possible alternatives to hearing aids.
“A hearing therapist can offer communication strategies and give information about assistive technology such as amplified telephones and personal listening devices. We can also teach speech reading and auditory training, which involves training the ear to pick up subtle differences in sounds,” explains Leeanne.
“It’s all about finding the right pathway for the client.”
Leeanne runs clinics in Rotorua every Monday to Wednesday at the Life Unlimited Store.
She also provides free presentations to social clubs, kaumatua groups and others in the health sector. “No group is too small,” says Leeanne.
Presentations are an opportunity to find out what Hearing Therapy Services does, to see how assistive technology works, and get tips for good communication or tinnitus management.
“Often people don’t seek help because they’ve been told there’s nothing they can do [about tinnitus], but there are lots of strategies to help manage the effects of tinnitus,” says Leeanne.
The trick is finding what works. “The good thing is, we have time to spend with clients to unravel what they want and to identify the steps to get there,” says Leeanne.
For Leeanne, the best part of her job is seeing the difference in her clients; “It’s just seeing people relieved of a struggle with their hearing — to see them confident and empowered — and having their needs met.”
Contact Leeanne on 07 921 4203 to arrange a free appointment and have a chat about ways she can help you manage the impact of hearing loss.