Hearing aids are a convenient way to deal with the loss of hearing, but there are a number of ways you can additionally cope with this change in your life. If you've recently discovered, through the diagnosis of a physician or audiologist, that you are losing your ability to hear, it may be time to look into this widely available option. As you go through the natural phases that anyone struggling to hear goes through, know that you are not alone, and there are professionals waiting to help.

When you are initially diagnosed, you may feel frustrated and alone. You've already known for a while that something is not right or maybe family members have had to repeat them during normal conversations. For some, the diagnosis might come as a relief, as now you have options that can make your life simpler, such as implementing hearing aids and getting the support of loved ones.

There are several easy steps you can take to help you and your family cope. The following lists some simple things you can do, either before or after receiving your hearing aids, to minimize the level of frustration you and those around you might be experiencing.

1) Communicate with others: do not be afraid to let people know you find it difficult to hear. By simply letting others know, you empower yourself by being honest and giving them an opportunity to speak louder and more clearly.

2) Put yourself in a position to hear better: sometimes all it takes is sitting closer to someone or turning to face them in order to hear them better. This is especially important when you are in group settings or restaurants. Believe it or not, many times if you are able to watch the lip movements of the person speaking, you can decipher what they're saying. If necessary, ask the person you're engaged in conversation with if they would mind moving to a quitter area where you can hear them more clearly.

3) Eliminate background noise: if you're in a situation in which you can cut down on the noises in the background, this can help tremendously. Ask your family or friends if they mind shutting off the television or radio to have a conversation.

If you make the decision to purchase hearing aids, be sure to deal with an audiologist or a dispenser who can explain the different product types and ensure a proper fit. Other things to inquire about and consider are whether or not you have a trial period, if warranties are available, and of course, the price. You can contact your insurance company about whether or not they will pay, but also be aware that there are organizations, such as the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, who might be willing to offer financial assistance if you qualify. The most important thing you can do is to communicate with your family and physician at all times. Remember, you are always your best advocate when it comes to your needs.