ASSISTIVE LISTENING DEVICES (ALDs)
aka. Hearing Assistive Technology Systems (HATS)
The world of assistive listening devices is expansive, and technological solutions for overcoming certain aspects of hearing loss certainly extends beyond hearing aids. Combining hearing aids with ALDs can provide better communication and hearing for some patients. For others, ALDs by themselves provide an excellent low-cost solution to their biggest challenges. If you'd like more information on any of these solutions, book a free 30 minute chat at our Waikanae or Raumati clinic on the Kapiti Coast.
TV: Infrared systems have been very helpful for many of our patients who do not have hearing aids to use while watching TV. The sound from the TV is transmitted to your headset via infrared waves. Meanwhile, the TV volume in the room can be set at any level without affecting what you hear. Bluetooth linked headphones or wired headphones plugged into your TV can also work well, bringing the TV sound directly into your ears. For people who DO have hearing aids, there are devices available that send the sound from your TV directly to your hearing aids.
Induction Loop: to be used with your hearing aid. Ask your audiologist to activate the hearing aid's telecoil. In order for your hearing aid to receive the sound from the speaker via the telecoil, an induction loop must be permanently installed in a room, and the speaker/presenter must wear a microphone. This generates an electromagnetic signal which is then transmitted directly to your hearing aid. Ask your retirement village if they have any induction loops.
Telephone: There are many options available today for a person with hearing impairment, for hearing on the telephone. If you have a hearing aid, ask your audiologist to set up a phone program and activate the automatic or manual phone program for you. The easiest way for some people to hear on a phone, whether or not they wear hearing aids, is to use the "loud speaker" which is on most modern phones. There are also amplified phones, and amplified answering machines, for those who need a bit of extra boost.
Alerts! For smoke alarms, telephone ringing, alarm clocks, knocks at the door: these specialised systems include an in-built strobe light, or conventional light, to alert you. Some products also use vibration (such as the alarm clock) rather than light or amplified sound to signal you. Kapiti Hearing is happy to refer you to our local hearing therapist, who can advise you on these devices. Hearing Therapists provide a free service funded by the Ministry of health.