Assistive Listening Devices
People with hearing loss often have more trouble hearing sounds such as ringing telephones or ticking alarm clocks. Assistive listening devices (ALDs) are intended to help people with hearing loss hear what they need to by amplifying the sounds they make.
People from any age can benefit from ALDs, from children to older adults. Even those with normal hearing may benefit from these devices. They are often used with hearing aids, though some can also be used independently.
Suitable candidates for ALDs include people who:
- Suffer mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss due to aging.
- Were previously exposed to long stretches of excessive noise.
- Have a genetic disorder that has caused difficulties with hearing.
- Have suffered a head injury or ear damage that has affected hearing.
TV Listening Devices
These systems allow a consumer to watch television without disrupting anyone, and are perfect for watching TV late at night without disturbing others. If headphones are the preferred television listening tool, then wireless sets are available. These can cover the whole ear, enabling the user to wear their hearing aids too. Other models are worn like a stethoscope for a doctor, with smaller speakers placed directly in the ear.
Amplified alarm clocks sound out at a frequency higher than traditional alarm clocks, and often give a tactile experience that helps wake people with hearing loss. A standard alarm clock at about 80 decibels appears to be very noisy. Those with mild to extreme hearing loss find it hard to hear loud sounds without the assistance of hearing aids, which are generally not worn when they sleep.
Amplified phones make it simpler for those who often miss out on their phone calls because of the ringer's low volume. Even those with hearing aids will usually find it hard to speak on a phone while wearing their hearing aids. Amplified phones can help make it easier to hear by increasing the volume. This can increase the volume by up to 35 decibels.
These systems improve the volume of a landline telephone to help connect people with hearing loss with their friends and family. Many devices provide tone control, which helps minimize background noise with clarity, and is compatible with most corded home and office telephones. In some cases, the volume increase is usually as high as 40 decibels or more. For those who travel often but need a boost in volume and clarity during the conversation, portable phone amplifiers are available.
Fire alarms are a critical safety feature in any household, but they are especially vital for those with hearing difficulties. Many amplified fire alarms emit volumes of up to 90 decibels or more, and when triggered, they can flash. Some fire alarms come with a blinking wireless part that an individual can place next to them when they are sleeping, which will alert a sleeping person in conjunction with the sound. As an extra safety measure, some alarms also provide physical alerts that shake or vibrate the bed if appropriate.