If you have hearing loss, chances are you’d greatly benefit from wearing hearing aids. Besides allowing you to hear better and participate in conversations, most modern hearing aids come with additional features and hearing aid accessories designed to maximise your hearing in all types of situations. Additional gadgets and software features, however, often come with a higher price tag. The question is: Is the investment in hearing aid accessories worth it? Which ones are a must-have, and which ones might you be able to live without? We’ll answer all of your hearing aid accessories questions in today’s post!
Depending on your level of hearing loss and your choice of hearing aid, you may benefit from additional support. The first thing to do is looking at the audiogram results from your most recent hearing test with Attune Hearing to understand the level of damage to our hearing. If you have trouble deciphering the audiogram results, check out our audiogram guide or ask your friendly hearing care providers to help you.
If you have significant damage (moderate to severe or profound hearing loss) chances are, that you will benefit the most from additional devices and hearing aid accessories to support your hearing aids in all types of conditions. In that case, it is imperative to receive the purest signal possible and limit background noise optimally.
In difficult hearing conditions, even those with mild to moderate hearing losses may benefit from additional support. If you have a busy life and often find yourself in complicated listening environments such as office meetings and noisy cafes, you are an ideal candidate for these devices. Across modern-day hearing aids of all technology levels, many of the benefits of additional devices may now be accessed with no or minimal additional devices required.
Do you love watching TV? There are plenty of hearing aid accessories available that help you turn up the fun without turning up the volume. These devices can be plugged directly into the television or radio and stream the signal to the hearing aids via a loop worn around the neck. As a result, the TV signal arrives in the hearing aids without distortion or interference at the high sound quality that your hearing aids offer.
The sound quality is not compromised by the size or placement of the speakers of the television because the sound comes from the hearing aid speakers. External sounds, such as a boiling kettle or chatter, can be excluded from the sound released into the ear. The signal from the television is collected via a pathway separate from the hearing aid microphones (such as Bluetooth or induction loop).
The noises around the house, on the other side, are collected using the microphones on the hearing aid. Because these two pathways are separate, the noise around the house which would travel along the microphone pathway can be turned off by turning the microphone off and just having the television signal “broadcast” into the ear.
With the television sound streaming directly to the hearing aids, you can move away from the television and still hear the sounds via your hearing aids from as far as 10m away (depending on the layout of your home). If you do not wish to be excluded from the conversation in the living room, you can choose to hear both the input from streaming the television and from the hearing aid microphones.
Image source: Oticon
Whether you’re at home or in the workplace, you can stream sound from your smartphone directly to your hearing aids. Using wireless hearing aid accessories to augment your current hearing aids; means you won’t need to upgrade to a newer device to stream calls and listen to music. But suppose you are ready for an upgrade. In that case, many modern hearing aids include the technology needed to stream calls and music directly from your phone to your hearing aids without the need for any additional devices.
In the workplace and classroom, or other environments where the speech signal is soft or distant, FM (frequency modulation) systems can make a world of difference. FM systems work by having a microphone close to the person talking and sending the sound of their voice to the hearing aids of their companion. If the person with hearing loss is mostly at home with their spouse or primary carer, a lapel microphone can allow the carer to speak at a soft level and still be heard clearly.
Their spouse or carer may talk at a comfortable level without raising their voice and even talk over a distance of up to 10m. Where the microphone needs to pick up the voices of multiple individuals, a handheld microphone works similarly. Hand-held microphones are made to be discreet in appearance. If the microphone is used during work meetings, a more sophisticated table microphone can share information with multiple other table microphones in larger groups of people.
The ConnectClip lapel microphone from Oticon. Source: Oticon
The table microphone will be most appropriate in these environments. The microphone end of the FM system can also be placed in front of the television to collect the sound from the tv and relay it to the hearing aids. FM systems can deliver their sound to hearing aids via a neck loop or a small connector that fits into the hearing aid’s base. With some modern hearing aids, connectors and neck loops are no longer needed. Nowadays, you can stream sound from the microphone directly into the hearing aids.
Hearing aid accessories for watching TV, streaming phone calls or improved hearing in groups are excellent for people with older hearing aids that are still in working order. With the rise of modern hearing aid technology, fewer additional devices are required. Some modern hearing aids can connect directly to your television, mobile phone or FM microphone. This provides the benefit of high-quality sound and minimal background noise when faced with significant hearing loss or difficult listening conditions.
If you still have difficulty hearing with hearing aid accessories, ask your hearing care professional for help. They will be able to recommend a device that is more suitable for you.
If you are considering upgrading to a new pair of hearing aids, you will benefit from the expertise of our friendly Attune Hearing professionals.
Don’t hesitate to contact our team at your local Attune Hearing clinic via 1300 736 702 or make your appointment online.