Hearing Impaired? Discover Home Devices That Make A Difference
With the right devices, settings, and routines, smart homes can be the right choice for those who experience hearing impairments. They are what you need to work around your hearing problem. How can you make your home more user-friendly? There isn’t “one solution” approach for acquiring smart homes. Let us have a look on the best devices available in the market nowadays.
According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world is estimated to suffer from deafness and hearing loss. With such significant portion of the population needing accommodations for hearing-related conditions, many modern hearing-impaired devices for home were designed to meet the patients’ housing preferences. These devices are a must because many people with hearing problems lack the experience needed to know how different levels of hearing affect the person’s daily life, especially when at home.
Similar to visual impairments, hearing impairments fall across a wide range of severity from mild to profound hearing loss.
Having hearing problems require that you have your ears checked. Once you are diagnosed with hearing loss, certain physical hearing tests are requested to diagnose your condition and determine the type and level of your hearing loss. The best solution for your case is hearing aids! They are chosen by your audiologist, which will choose according to your needs, preferences, and lifestyle.
Having assistive devices or hearing aid accessories help the user hear and understand what is being said more clearly. With the development of digital and wireless technologies, more devices are becoming available to help those with hearing disorders. They provide practical solutions to hearing loss management at home, since they help to encourage independent living and aid in communication and different social activities. Some hearing aid accessories are complimentary when purchasing hearing aids. Others have additional features or abilities that help in hearing better. Health professionals use a list of names to describe assistive devices. Some of which are:
They are hearing impaired devices that help to amplify the sounds you hear, especially with loud background noises. They can be used with hearing aids or cochlear implants in order to help the wearer hear sounds in a better way.
Hearing aid accessories
They bridge the gap between the sound source and you by eliminating the effects of background noise, distance and reverberation and by bypassing challenging acoustics.
They emit loud sounds or blinking lights to notify the person with hearing loss that an event is taking place. They use sound, vibrations, light, or a combination of all these techniques.
These devices improve the clarity of sound in noisy environments. While they do not and cannot cure hearing loss, they can help your condition by making it less noticeable and less of a factor in your everyday activities.
They reduce the effect of becoming socially isolated.
They increase self-confidence, making the user more independent.
They provide the feeling of safety wherever you are.
Let us have a look at some of these devices used at home:
Assistive Listening Devices (ALD)
Hearing aids and cochlear implants are excellent tools and hearing solutions that amplify sounds and make them easier for users to hear. However, they are appropriate for selected people with specific hearing levels. When many sounds are mixed up together in one room, it is very hard to pick up the sounds you want to hear. There are other technological innovations available that can provide additional listening support. They deliver voice, sound and music to the speaker. They can be tuned to get better sound and clarity. This will reduce feedback, making it easy to overcome the background noise and improving the experience overall. The right device for you depends on your hearing loss and where exactly you need communication access.
Many listening devices work through a wireless link and can be connected directly to your hearing aid or cochlear implant.
They are infrared devices that are made for home television listening. They transmit sound wirelessly via invisible light beams. The transmitter is placed on the TV and plugged into an electrical outlet. The user can wear a battery-powered headset or receiver with volume control. The volume of the TV can then be set at a comfortable level for other listeners.
Hearing aids Bluetooth
It transmits sound via Wi-Fi. It can work directly with hearing aids that have Bluetooth. Connecting the Bluetooth transmitter to an audio port on the TV is very helpful, especially when you utilize a hearing aid with built-in Bluetooth connectivity. This helps the user in connecting directly to the TV without the need of turning the volume of the TV up.
Clocks/wake-up alarm systems
They allow the person to wake up using several methods such as lights, gentle shaking, different colors or even horns. Since there are different levels of hearing loss, different alarms should be used to meet all the unique needs.
Visual alert signalers monitor many household devices, such as telephones and doorbells. For example, when the phone rings, the visual alert signaler is activated and will vibrate or flash a light.
Remote receivers that are placed around the house alert the person from any room they are in.
Portable vibrating pagers for instance allow the parents or caretakers to know when the baby is crying.
Some baby monitoring devices analyze the baby’s cry and light up a certain picture that indicates if the baby is hungry, sleepy or bored.
Different types of bed shakers are also an option. They can be installed either under the pillow or between the mattress and box string.
They use a service that captures spoken words and transcribes them into a text that the person can read. Voice recognition software can make this process very quick and quite accurate.
These phones boast a ringer and voice volume that are louder than the normal phones. Some are adjusted to match your own hearing needs. They don’t send the sound directly to the hearing aids. They merely amplify the sound from the phone itself.
Apple operating system
Apple iOS is the mobile operating system that is used on Apple iPhones and iPads. Using the built-in iOS accessibility features, you can get the most of your device when having hearing impairments:
Voiceover screen reader
audio settings’ adjustment
subtitles and captioning
Android operating system
Android is Google’s mobile operating system. All Android devices have Bluetooth and can connect to WIFI. They can access a wide range of mobile apps and can be customized to suit your needs and preferences. Some of Android accessibility features are:
VoiceView screen reader
Voice control to control the device
Audio and on-screen text
Hearing aids and smartphones
Many smartphones can work with hearing aids because of a hearing loop or telecoil. This small coiled wire picks up sounds and sends them to your hearing aids on the hearing loop setting, making it easier to hear.
Many people with hearing problems use their phones in various ways. Some prefer not to rely on the voice function, but instead use texts or other written capabilities in order to communicate.
Knowing that someone is at the door is very important. Doorbells typically ring when someone presses them, but the sound might not be loud enough. Recent technology made it easier for the person to know that someone has arrived. It can used for both interior and exterior doors. These doorbells trigger a light or another device to create a loud vibration. Notification systems can also be installed in order to work simultaneously with their current doorbell.
Hearing aid accessories
You are able to change programs and volume of your hearing aids either via an app on your smartphone or with Widex TV-DEX Television Streamer. You can stream the sound of your TV directly to your hearing aids because of the natural sound quality it provides. You can place it on display or put it discreetly behind the TV. The audio streaming is free of distortion or echo, which is why it gives the high-quality stream to the hearing aids.
Widex Remote Link
This device is an accessory required to have service appointments for your hearing aids through WIDEX REMOTE CARE. Using your smartphone, Remote Link, and reliable internet connection, you can connect with your clinician and have a remote appointment. They will make the tuning adjustments to your hearing aids and they can speak with face-to-face from office.
With smart technology, the possibilities don’t end. You now have the chance to stay connected with your environment and experience a more connected, expedient and safer home environment.