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Hearing Aids > Hearing Accessories

Although much of the discussion on this site relates to hearing aids, there exist many other life-enhancing accessories for individuals with hearing loss. Some accessories are standalone, while others work in concert with hearing aids to provide a seamless auditory experience. With the advent of T-coils and Bluetooth technologies, hearing aids can now receive sound data directly from audio devices, eliminating external noise interference.

Among the oldest and best known accessories for the hearing impaired are telephone amplifiers. This is not surprising as distance communication is an intrinsic and important part of living in modern society. Today, there exists a wide range of amplified systems which allow hearing impaired individuals to take full part in telephone conversations. A telephone line amplifier is a piece of equipment that interconnects between the receiver and the base unit of a land line telephone, boosting the sound coming across the telephone line by up to 40 decibels. Meanwhile, a dedicated amplifier telephone has the amplification technology built into the telephone unit itself and can increase the incoming sound by up to 50 decibels. Generally, such specialized telephones also come with additional features to enhance sound quality and clarity, including multiband compression, noise reduction, and acoustic echo cancellation. In addition, some telephones come with a strobe light ringer that provides a visual alert to the user for when there is a call coming through.

Another set of devices commonly used for distance communication are TTY/TDD devices, which work over telephone wires and are essentially small computers that allow speech to be converted to text and vice versa. In fact, many TTY/TDD devices can work directly through a computer that is connected to the Internet. With the advent of cellular telephones, a number of TTY/TDD devices are now available for wireless communication, including some which use SMS as a method for sending textual data.

An important category of accessories for the hearing impaired are alarm clocks. Generally, alarm clocks wake the user up through the use of a loud, repetitive sound. However, an individual suffering from hearing loss may be unable to hear the buzz of a regular alarm clock. As a result, a number of specialized clocks have been developed specifically for the hearing impaired. Some of these alarm clocks use a much louder sound, which may work in cases of mild to moderate hearing loss. However, for situations where the user’s hearing loss is more severe, or a loud sound is unacceptable due to the proximity of others, a different solution has been developed. Shaker alarm clocks use a vibrating element attached to either the mattress or the pillow to wake the user up through physical rather than aural sensations. Yet another alternative are photoelectric or strobe light alarm clocks which use a bright light to flood the room, waking the user through optical effects. For those who sleep especially soundly, a number of alarm clocks offer the loud sound, the shaker, and the light all in one unit.

Alarm clocks underscore an important element, which is that many sound alerts which have become a regular part of most people’s lives may not be practical for individuals with hearing loss. As a result, a range of products have been made that provide an extra loud signal, along with a strong visual stimulus. In addition to alarm clocks and visual telephone ringers, which have already been mentioned, these include smoke detectors, fire alarms, baby monitors, and doorbells.

For individuals who enjoy certain favorite shows, there are television amplification systems available which come with a transmitter that is attached to the television set and a receiver, usually in the form of a headphone set that is placed on the user’s ears. The user receives an amplified sound directly from the transmitter, with no interference. An added benefit of such a system is that it allows the user to watch television at a significantly amplified volume without disturbing anyone else in the vicinity.

These are the common hearing accessories - we present accompanying illustrations below. Please also explore other topics available on our site. In the meantime, if this information has been helpful to you, we would greatly appreciate it if you would support us by recommending our site to other users on Google. You can do so by simply clicking this button:

Below we present an illustration of several common types of accessories specifically designed for use by individuals suffering from hearing loss.

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