Living with hearing loss can be a challenge, even with the perfect pair of heairng aids. It can still be a challenge to hear what people are saying to you and may take extra focus. However, with the right accommodations, it can make all the difference between successful communication and confusion. It may be a matter of asking people to maintain eye contact when addressing you and speak clearly at a gated pace. It can also help to have a quieter environment, free of distracting background noise.
However sometimes it may take extra accommodations from technology to help you succeed. Hearing aids not only amplify the sounds you need to hear based on your hearing exam. Today’s hearing aids offer many features which can help you communicate more optimally. Some of the most popular features include improved listening in noisy environments, settings for listening and playing music, suppressing wind, and masking tinnitus. In addition to enhanced digital amplification, today’s hearing aids are becoming compatible with other assistive listening devices to improve your overall hearing experience.
Hearing Loss and Bluetooth Technology
Technology is in our lives more than ever before. Just about everyone of all generations uses a cellphone, including adolescents and senior citizens. We use our phones not only to call people, but for GPS navigation, to listen to music, watch TV, explore social media, and even interact and control our hearing aids. To keep up with the prevalence of technology in our lives many have found that wireless Bluetooth technology in hearing aids helps them to stream media to our ears, amplified ideally for our particular hearing loss, based on our hearing exam. When you are watching a big game or listening to your favorite song on your phone, it goes straight to your ears, without distracting sounds, causing confusion and interference. Similarly, while driving a car to an unfamiliar location, you can enjoy the GPS navigation instructions being transmitted directly to your ears, so you’ll be well prepared for your next turn. This eliminates the need to strain to hear or mess with the volume of your hearing aids, risking feedback and helping you to focus on the task at hand.
Assistive Listening Devices
If you aren’t ready to invest in Bluetooth enabled hearing aids there are assistive listening devices (ALD) available to help you hear with greater ease in a wide range of listening situations. There are ADLs which may be appropriate for a wide range of applications. ADLs are personal amplifiers that are used to increase volume in one on one conversations, small group conversations and listening to media such as your TV or phone and come in all sorts of designs. Some are small boxes with a microphone and listening transmitter connected to them.
Some connect directly to your hearing aids while others use headphones to amplify sound. They aren’t a nuanced and personalized in amplification as hearing aids but they can provide you that extra support in hearing you may need in a wide range of situations. However, when combined with hearing aids, they are stellar for improving your experience as well as all the people you communicate with throughout the day while talking over the phone, enjoying TV, and having in-person conversations.
In-Person Conversations: Hearing loss typically challenges even your closest relationships, however with ADL’s you can wear them to help you make conversation easier, especially when you really need to hear, during a big meeting, at a doctors appointment or even a family gathering over dinner.
Phone Calls: ALD’s are an excellent solution for hearing aid users who struggle to hear over the phone. While you may have come to rely on lip reading, facial expression, and body language in person, you can’t use these communication strategies in person. However, with ADLs they can amplify sounds, improve sound quality, and eliminate feedback.
Watching TV: If you struggle to hear the TV and others complain you listen too loudly, ALDs can amplify the sound only for you. This can avoid a lot of conflict in the future and help you to enjoy TV at a level which works for you without bothering the other people in your life nightly. ADLs for television transmit the sound to personal listening devices such as earbuds or headphones.
Don’t Let Hearing Loss Stop You!
If you suspect you have hearing loss, it’s important you address it as soon as possible. Life is too short to spend it struggling to hear the people you love. Contact us today to schedule a hearing exam.