May signifies an exciting time of the year for audiologists around the world. Flowers are blooming, the air is growing warmer, and Better Speech & Hearing Month has just begun.

I thought long and hard about what topic I would cover during this important month. Many people know that hearing aids improve communication and promote cognitive health by allowing the brain access to important sounds, but did you know that patients also benefit from using Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)? ALDs can make a world of difference for individuals with hearing loss because of the following valuable features.

Induction Loops or Telecoils

Telecoils, also known as induction loops, are small copper wires that interact with loops installed in the ceilings of venues such as theaters, meeting halls, and churches. These loop systems connect the building’s sound systems or microphones to one’s hearing aids, ensuring good sound quality by reducing background noise. Many hearing aids have telecoils built into them.

If you have questions about telecoils or whether your hearing aids have this feature, give us a call. We are happy to answer your questions!

Television Headsets

Do you remember TV Ears? Although they are not as popular anymore since hearing aids can stream wirelessly to most televisions, I still sometimes recommend Infra-red TV headsets. TV headsets stream sound from one’s television to a headset and give patients who are not candidates for hearing aids the ability to understand their televisions.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Most new hearing aids have the ability to connect via Bluetooth to cell phones and other devices such as microphones or televisions. These convenient listening devices allow patients to stream phone calls and television programs right to their hearing aids.

Using a microphone clip, friends and family can attach these devices to their shirts, and the device will stream their voices directly to one’s hearing aids. For those individuals with a moderate to severe deficit in background noise, a microphone will make it easier to hear loved ones in a crowded area such as at a restaurant.

 Amplified Devices for Medical Professionals

Amplified stethoscopes are useful for medical professionals who suffer from hearing loss. I have fit several physicians, nurses, and medical assistants with hearing aids; however, when wearing hearing aids, one cannot wear a standard stethoscope piece at the same time. Amplified stethoscopes allow medical professionals to keep their hearing instruments in their ears while performing auscultation.

Captioned Telephones

Amplified and/or captioned phones can help those with hearing loss better understand phone conversations. These phones have built-in screens that display captions for everything the other person says while on the call.

In Arizona, those with hearing loss qualify for a free amplified or captioned phone. Contact us if you are interested in obtaining one of those telephones.

Alerting Devices

Patients with severe hearing loss would often miss their morning alarms if not for the help of an alerting device. One type of alerting device is a specialized alarm clock that uses flashing lights and/or vibrating pillow inserts to wake those who might not respond to sounds. Other alerting devices include special doorbells, fire alarms, carbon monoxide monitors, and baby monitors.

Give us a call at Oro Valley Audiology to find out more information about assistive listening devices and discover one for you!

Often, when people wear hearing aids and/or use assistive listening devices for the first time, they wish they had tried them sooner. Reach out yourself or encourage a loved one to take the first step toward life-altering treatment. Give us a call at 520-825-4770!

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