Although they may sound like synonyms, assistive listening devices and hearing aids are not the same things. Yes, they’re both hearing equipment often recommended by our Virginia hearing consultants, but they refer to two distinct categories of medical equipment.
Although there are a variety of digital hearing aids in use today, hearing aids are worn in or around the ear for extended periods of time. They’re used to amplify a variety of sounds, and most of us have a friend, parent, or grandparent with a hearing aid tucked behind their ear.
Assistive listening devices are pieces of hearing equipment used to amplify specific sounds for a specific task, like watching TV. Unlike digital hearing aids, which may be worn all day long, listening devices usually have a more specialized function.
For Americans with significant hearing loss, one or both devices can significantly improve your quality of life. And because so many Americans struggle with hearing loss, hearing technology of all kinds has developed by leaps and bounds recently. Nevertheless, just 30% of hard-of-hearing adults over the age of 70 actively use hearing aids. Hearing aid use is even lower among younger Americans adults.
However, now that hearing equipment is increasingly going wireless, capable of connecting to TVs, smartphones, computers, and more, our Virginia audiologists are determined to spread the word far and wide.
Below, you’ll find more information on the three most popular types of listening devices used today.
Assistive Listening Devices for TV
Let’s be honest: America is a nation of TV lovers, and that’s a good thing. Television programming is undergoing a golden age, and binge watching, “Netflix and Chill”, and new streaming services offer something for everyone. Assistive listening devices for TV connect to your television and transmit sound to headphones or earbuds, letting you enjoy television at your own sound level. In fact, assistive listening devices are so popular, they’re even used by people with perfect hearing, who just want to be able to watch TV without disturbing their spouse.
For younger and older Americans alike, these devices can be life changing. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that at least three in 1,000 U.S. infants are born with serious hearing loss. In total, 1.4 million American kids have hearing problems. For these young people, assistive listening devices for TV and other devices can help them participate in the same activities as their friends.
Amplified Telephones Listening Devices
These devices are exactly what they sound like: they provide an adjustable, amplified sound level that lets anyone hear callers more clearly. Amplified telephones come in a variety of configurations, with options for people of all ages, dexterity, and type of hearing loss.
If you have any questions about the right telephone amplification device for you, contact our Virginia hearing consultants.