The way we communicate has changed a lot over the past decade or two. As technology improves every day, new developments are constantly infiltrating our lives. If you suffer from hearing loss, you may or may not know that hearing aids and assistive listening devices are not the same. Although they both are wearable sound-amplifying devices which help you hear better, look alike, and have many of the same advanced technology and features, it’s important to understand the differences.
What is a Hearing Aid?
Hearing aids are basically tiny computers that are programmed and fitted specifically for your ears and your type of hearing loss. Today’s hearing aid instruments are made for a range of hearing impairments, and have specific functions and features that make them customizable for each person’s unique needs and personalized to work best for the type of environment you’re in.
NOTE: Some hearing aids are made for specific recreational activities, and some transmit sound differently to your ear depending on the nature of your hearing loss.
Hearing aids don’t just make everything louder. When programmed correctly by a certified audiologist, they amplify the sounds you need to hear, when you need to hear them, while diminishing other sounds around you so you can focus on the sounds you want to hear. If you suspect that you have a hearing impairment, seek out the care and advice of an experienced audiologist. They will be able to determine if you do indeed have hearing loss, and the best course of action to treat any type of hearing loss.
What is an Assistive Listening Device?
Assistive Listening Devices (ADLs) offer a variety of functions to help people hear better in busy or noisy environments, or in situations where there is a significant distance between the user and the sound they wish to hear. They can be used to enhance telephone communication, TV reception, or listening in various kinds of public venues and can be used with or without hearing aids depending on your hearing needs. When used with hearing aids, assistive listening technology can increase the positive benefits associated with hearing aids helping you hear that much better.
There are several types of assistive listening devices that are available to improve sound transmission for people with hearing loss. Some are designed for large facilities such as classrooms, theaters, places of worship, and airports. Other types are intended for personal use in small settings like watching television and talking on the phone. If you feel your hearing aids could use an extra boost in certain situations, speak with your hearing care provider about helping you decide which assistive listening device is right for your lifestyle.
If you would like to learn more about hearing aids and assistive listening devices or would like to speak with a certified audiologist about your hearing loss needs, contact us today and schedule an appointment at a hearing care center near you.