Audiological Rehabilitation is the process of providing necessary intervention that either prevents hearing loss and/or provide training and treatment to improve hearing for those who are hearing impaired. The process of Audiological rehabilitation can begin as soon as a hearing or balance related issue is identified, for a child the age at which a rehabilitative program can begin is a low as 6 months. The earlier a child undergoes Audiological rehabilitation the more effective the program will be.
Although the term Audiological rehabilitation suggests an intervention focused on Hearing and issues related to it, but an Audiologist also deals with Balance related disorders (Vestibular Disorders).
An Audiologist first conducts a battery of tests on a client to diagnose the hearing problem faced by the client, and then begins the process of Audiological rehabilitation. A child can be identified for hearing loss at the age of even one day.
Audiological rehabilitation is a complex process and will not stop after dispensing an Amplification Device selecting an appropriate Amplification Device is however of utmost importance and is the basis of the Audiological rehabilitation process.
A Hearing aid is not the only amplification device available to us various other devices like:
- Cochlear Implant
- Bone Anchored Hearing Aids
- Middle Ear Implants
- Brainstem Implants
- Assistive listening Devices, etc.
Can also be used as and when required in a rehabilitative program and can supplement a traditional hearing aid.
If the Hearing Impaired client is a child in his/ her Critical Period the goals of an audiological rehabilitation program changes as there is an added priority of helping the child to develop his/her language skills which is at risk because of hearing loss.
Audiological rehabilitation of a Hearing Impaired child involves developing his listening skills, oral language, social communication, etc. which is achieved with approaches like Auditory Training and Auditory Verbal Therapy
Often considered one of the most important aspects of rehabilitation, Counselling is the backbone of any rehabilitative program as it motivates the client or his/her caregivers provides them with assurance and clarity about various aspects of a rehabilitative program.
As balance is also a function of the Auditory System, Vestibular Rehabilitation is also a part of audiological rehabilitation it is the rehabilitation of disequilibrium and balance, Balance related issues can cause a lot of issues in people of any age group the geriatric population is at risk of injuries if they don’t have a proper sense of balance. The developmental motor milestones of a child will also be delayed if he/she has balance related problems.
Various therapy approaches and certain implantable devices can help rehabilitate the vestibular system.
Audiological Rehabilitation is an essential and mandatory program to insure that a person performs at a level at which individuals without auditory vestibular issues do it is an attempt to give everyone a life they deserve.