Assistive Listening Devices
In difficult listening environments, assistive listening devices (ALDs) can help you hear better. ALDs are portable amplifiers that bring sound closer to your ears so you can hear it better, and some devices can help filter out background noise. They separate the sounds a person needs to hear from the background noise. This raises the so-called "speech-to-noise ratio" in turn.
We love hearing aids here at Advanced Hearing Aid Solutions, but there are some situations where people might need a boost. While we see many advantages of consistently wearing hearing aids, there are times when you can need a little extra help:
- Faraway sounds: As we move away from sound sources, sound fades, making words more challenging to understand.
- Echo and reverb. Tall, open spaces such as those found in a church or lecture hall are not often conducive to good listening. Sound waves tend to reverberate off rigid walls and floors, causing reverberation and echo.
- Excessive background noise. Background noise interferes with the ability to concentrate on speech. As they have difficulties in such situations, users of hearing aids sometimes resort to increasing the volume. Unfortunately, that adds to the background noise.
Some of the most common places an ALD would be most suitable include:
• business meetings
• political gatherings
• places of worship
Different Types of Assistive Listening Devices
In public areas where one person is speaking, FM systems use radio broadcast technology to help you hear better. FM devices consist of a transmitter microphone used by the speaker and a portable receiver worn by the listener. In educational environments, FM systems are also used to help students hear their teachers better.
Induction loop system
In airports, hospitals, and libraries around your city, you have probably seen the unique 'blue ear' logo. To transmit sound, the induction loop system uses an electromagnetic field. This field is encased in an insulated cable that is typically wrapped around the physical space in which a person needs to hear better. The benefits of this over the FM system are that many people can use the same loop system, and the users themselves do not have to wear receivers.
Many who love to talk on the phone can often experience echo or feedback when using hearing aids. To help with this, there are a variety of devices available.
One of the more recent developments in the use of captioned phones. These are devices designed for people with hearing loss who find it challenging to use the phone. When you're talking, the text of what the other person says is shown so that you can more clearly understand the conversation.
A captioning agent is automatically linked to the call to help transcribe the call. They use speech recognition and manual modifications to convert your caller's words into captions. Combining technology and human interaction helps to provide accurate captions to help you completely understand the other person's words.
Most ALDs allow you to hear the sounds you need to hear more easily, but others help enhance your safety. To warn you when there is a problem, alerting systems rely on amplified noises, visual reminders, and even vibrations. Examples include shaking alarm clocks, doorbell alerts, and blinking smoke detectors. Using these alert devices will make you feel more comfortable noticing emergencies when in your home environment.
There will be many more innovative devices on the market in the coming years, with technology moving in leaps and bounds every day. In the meantime, scheduling an appointment with one of our hearing specialists is the key to taking advantage of the wide variety of assistive products. We will assess your lifestyle to find the one that completely suits your needs. Contact us today to learn more!