Innovations in technology have made dramatic advances in assistive hearing devices that have changed the lives of millions of Americans. Hearing specialists have designed and created products that provide cutting edge solutions based on the demands of their clients. People who live with hearing loss have unique needs. Innovative products on the market reflect the spectrum of hearing loss with a variety of assistive hearing devices, including hearing aids, directional speakers, and apps.
One in three people over the age of 65 experience hearing loss. Regardless of the severity of their condition, hearing loss can lead to feelings of isolation and anxiety. Hearing impaired individuals often notice slight changes to their responsiveness. They may feel left out of conversations or struggle to participate in normal daily activities. Other individuals experience a sudden decrease in their hearing ability, causing them to address the issue immediately. Regardless of the progression of your hearing impairment, you should report any changes to your physician. With the help of your doctor and specialists, you can find solutions that work for you and meet your particular needs.
Technology for the hearing impaired has come a long way. It can be affordable, comfortable and almost invisible to anyone else. Research and innovation have partnered to give people experiencing all levels of hearing loss access to solutions that will improve their quality of life.
Many people try to postpone a diagnosis of hearing loss. The idea of wearing a hearing aid might feel like giving up too soon, but did you know that wearing one can slow down the progression of hearing loss? Don’t miss out on the sounds of your life – the people you love, the music you appreciate, the sounds on the street. Take advantage of cutting edge technology that has turned the hearing aid into a virtually invisible tool that can get you back to enjoying the sounds around you.
Hearing aids can be customized to your specific needs, and innovation has made them smaller and more accurate than ever before. Designed to fit inside the ear canal or behind the ear with a device the size of a coffee bean, digital hearing aids are extremely discreet. These hearing aids are high performing tools that operate intuitively. Adjusting automatically, these hearing aids will provide optimal sound while eliminating background noise and feedback.
Home Devices for the Hearing Impaired
Create your own customized “smart home” by integrating assistive innovation into your home. New devices have been introduced to make people with hearing loss more comfortable in their own homes, whether they live alone or with family, and can help people with hearing loss maintain their independence. Consider some of these innovative assistive products:
- Speakers: Watching a favorite television show or hosting a movie night for friends or family can be frustrating if you need the volume so much higher than everyone else in the room. This is no longer a concern, thanks to innovative speakers that can send a narrow stream of boosted sound to a targeted zone while others in the room continue to hear the sound at a normal volume without any annoying headphones.
- Alert Systems: Sound and safety is an important combination, especially if you live alone. Alert systems will use lights and vibration to notify you of a doorbell, an upcoming weather event, a fire or smoke alarm, or carbon monoxide sensor. Security cameras can be installed outside your home to help announce visitors you may not hear.
- Telephones: Phones are often our way of connecting with loved ones on a regular basis. Despite the reliance on cell phones, many people have chosen to keep a “land-line” in case of emergencies. Adapt your home telephone with voice recognition technology that will provide real-time captions of conversations so you can communicate easily.
If you rely on a cell phone or tablet (like so many of us do), look into apps that can help resolve issues caused by hearing loss. Consider the following apps that can change the way you experience your sounds:
- ClearCaptions – a free app that translates conversations and converts them into captions you can read on your smartphone or tablet
- TVLouder – uses the Iphone microphone to enhance and amplify the sounds of your television, playing louder through headphones
- TapTap – alerts users to nearby sounds
- Ava – a portable translator that will allow you to communicate easily with another person by translating their speech in real-time
- AllDeaf – a social networking site for the deaf, hard of hearing, and users of sign language allowing people with common experiences to support one another
Don’t let a fear of hearing aids or assistive devices get in the way of addressing your hearing loss. Innovative technology has changed the face of assistive devices, providing access to state-of-the-art tools that will help you engage with the world around you. Discuss any changes in your hearing ability with your physician, and explore ways innovative technology can reconnect you to the voices and sounds in your life.