Assistive Hearing Devices
What is an Assistive Hearing Devices (AHD)?
Assistive Hearing Devices improve a hearing-impaired person’s ability to live independently by transmitting amplified sound from a source like a TV or phone, or by transforming the sound into a visual signal or a tactile vibration.
The technology is changing quickly, with inventors creating wearables that are linked to smart phones or smart watches to provide alerts. Smart phone developers are creating apps like Let Me Hear Again and Flash Alerts available on Google Apps. There are assistive hearing devices that can connect listening devices to televisions and radios. There are personal one-on-one amplifiers, audio systems that use FM signals to amplify local sounds, and direct audio input options for hearing aids and more products under development.
What categories of Assistive Hearing Devices are there?
- Hardwire Systems: These devices are among the most affordable of the AHDs, with many devices connecting directly to phone systems or affordable speakers that can be placed around a house or apartment.
- Infrared Systems: These systems are based on a transmitter that broadcasts signals via an invisible IR signal to stethoscope earphones, hearing aids and sound amplifiers in a confined space. The sound fidelity is excellent and can be used for radio, TV, concerts, lectures and theater.
- FM Systems: This technology is based on the FM band of radio and includes a small transmitter and receiver. A transmitter microphone is positioned near the speaker or performer. A signal is transmitted to an earphone receiver that the user will be connected to. Some units will include a wire loop that serves as the antenna for the FM signal. Some hearing aids can connect to this technology by setting the setting to the “T” or telephone position.
- Induction Loop System: This system is similar to the FM System. A loop of wire is positioned at the perimeter of the room. The loop is connected to an amplifier that picks up the signal from the speaker or performer. Individuals can connect to the loop by choosing the “T” setting on their hearing aids.
Who can benefit from an Assistive Hearing Device?
- Mild, moderate or severe hearing loss: These individuals may benefit from a complete aural rehabilitation program that includes assistive listening devices such as hardwire, infrared, FM and loop technologies.
- Severe or profound hearing impairment or deafness: These individuals may benefit from hardwire, FM, Loop and IR systems. In addition, they should consider captioned TV, TTYs, gongs, bells, lights, vibrators and even hearing dogs.
How do you choose Assistive Hearing Devices?
There are many factors to consider, such as the severity of your hearing loss, evaluation of your current lifestyle needs, your cultural requirements, flexibility, affordability and more. An ENT & AA audiologist can help you make the right decisions to meet your hearing needs, so that you can be an active, contributing member of your community.
CaptionCall is an amplified phone that also transcribes the conversation onto a large, easy to read screen to reinforce what the listener is hearing. This product is designed to help individuals struggling with hearing loss to use the phone again with confidence. This phone is FREE for those who need it. If you or someone you know could benefit from a CaptionCall phone, call 919-782-9003 to make an appointment today. In addition, CaptionCall has released their new Mobile platform. This is a free app that enables people with hearing loss to make and receive telephone calls from their iPad, so you can understand every word of every call, everywhere. All that is requires is an Apple iPad 2 or later, a Wi-fi or cellular internet connection, and the free app.
Puro Sound Labs
Keep Your Hearing Safe with Healthy Ears®
Puro Sound Labs headphones are safe for our hearing and sound terrific. They deliver studio-grade sound and protect our hearing without compromising their listening experience.
We are now selling Puro Sound Labs headphones in our office. Ask about the headphones at your next appointment for a free demonstration, so you can hear the difference for yourself.
The Dash by Bragi
Listen. Track. Communicate. Get the world’s first truly wireless Hearable, a smart device that fits in your ears. Experience amazing sound and the PerfectFit combined with In-ear biometric sensors, live activity feedback, and gesture controls.
Starting in March our office will have demonstrations on The Dash smart earphones. You’ll be able to fit them for you as well as offer a custom fit.
The Pocket Talker is a personal amplifier that amplifies sounds close to the listener while reducing background noise. This is ideal for one on one conversations; for those who are not candidates for hearing aids. This device can make a world of difference in the end of life communications in hospital and hospice settings. If you or someone you know could benefit from this amplifier, call 919-782-9003 today.
There are numerous apps available to smartphone and tablet users that can provide education, amplification, tinnitus masking, and aural rehabilitation. To know which app will best help you, we need to complete a comprehensive hearing evaluation and lifestyle assessment. To get the most out of the tools available to you, call 919-782-9003 for a consultation with one of our hearing healthcare experts.
You no longer need to worry about not hearing your alarm clock, doorbell, or even an emergency alerting system because of your hearing loss. There are numerous devices available to provide visual and tactile alerts. We have some set up in our office for demonstration and will work with you to find the best product to suit your needs.
Whether you have hearing aids or not, there are devices available to stream the television directly to your ears. This way, other listeners can keep the volume at their preferred comfort level, and you have full volume control with the sound wirelessly transmitted to you directly.