Hearing Aids, Wireless Accessories and ALDs
Digital hearing aids can be equipped with Bluetooth technology or Radio Frequency transmission, which enables wireless communication with other accessory devices while using the telephone, watching television or in a noisy environment. This technology essentially turns hearing aids into wireless headsets, which are compatible with cell phones, televisions, MP3 players, tablets, and other devices.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDS)
Not everyone is a candidate for hearing aids, and some hearing aid users require more assistance than their hearing aids can provide. Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) or Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) can help users hear and distinguish sounds more clearly in certain settings. The devices can be used by themselves or in conjunction with hearing aids. They are designed to enhance telephone communication, TV reception, ensure safety alerting devices are heard and for listening in various public venues.
ALDs designed for large public spaces employ one of three methods of transmission: frequency-modulated (FM) radio broadcast technology, infrared light-based technology or inductive loop systems using an electromagnetic field.
Our audiologists provide guidance to our patients on whether they would benefit from hearing aids, assistive devices or both. Some devices are designed specifically for personal use while others are for the public domain. These devices include but are not limited to TV Ears, Sennheiser TV listening systems, PocketTalker and MAXI personal communicators, amplified phones, CaptionCall, closed captions, alarm clocks, home alerting systems and FM systems.
Although hearing aids work well for conversational speech, they are less beneficial in larger venues like auditoriums or when distance, reverberation and background noise compete with speech. A hearing Loop (also referred to as audio-induction loop or audio loop), is a wire that is installed along the periphery of a room. This system magnetically transfers sound from the microphone of a PA system directly into the telecoil of a hearing aid. Hearing Loop systems are more commonly used in Europe but are available in some churches, theaters, courthouses and other public venues in the United States.
CaptionCall is a telephone caption service similar to captioned television. A CaptionCall communication assistant uses voice recognition technology to provide the text of what callers say on an easy to read screen on your CaptionCall telephone. As a provision of the American Disabilities Act, the Federal Communications Commission establishes a fund to give individuals with hearing loss access to captioned telephone service at no cost. The telephone, captioning service, delivery installation, in-home training and ongoing customer support are all included. Any person with hearing loss is eligible for this service, however an application must be submitted by a Hearing Healthcare provider certifying your hearing loss. An internet connection is required to use this service.
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