After arthritis and heart disease, hearing loss is the third most common physical condition affecting people over the age of 65. This condition has a significant effect on the quality of life of those affected.
A hearing aid can help change the life of an individual suffering from hearing loss. Even with that in mind, some people may not be able to use these devices for one reason or another. In such cases, alternatives to hearing aids can actually prove to be invaluable.
High cost is one of the main reasons why the hearing impaired may not be able to use hearing aids. Other common reasons why hearing loss patients may not be able to use hearing aids include failure to find the right size or even a color that best matches the tone of their skin.
Individuals suffering from hearing loss can find the hearing aid alternatives quite helpful, especially if they are not quite ready to start using hearing aids.
Here is a list of the best alternatives to hearing aids.
Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs)
Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs) are designed to help improve the hearing of people suffering from hearing issues. They achieve this by amplifying sound, thus making it easier for users to hear. In their most basic form, PSAPs are designed with a microphone, amplifier and receiver. PSAPs are considered to be a great alternative to hearing aids for a number of reasons. For starters, PSAPs tend to be significantly cheaper than hearing aids. This is mainly due to the fact that their production is not regulated by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
One of the main differences between hearing aids and PSAPs is the fact that the former are customized to match the user’s hearing and listening needs, while the latter come in a one size fits all package.
As previously mentioned, PSAPs have a number of advantages.
- For starters, these products are not as expensive as traditional hearing aids.
- Furthermore, these products are widely available for sale, and can be easily purchased by anyone in need.
- Since PSAPs do not require a lot of customization, if any, they are usually ready for use right out of the box.
It is however important to note that some PSAPs may require the use of a smartphone. More importantly, some products may not be of the highest quality simply due to the fact that their production is not regulated by the FDA.
If you are looking for a great alternative to conventional hearing aids, and do not suffer from severe hearing loss, a suitable Personal Sound Amplification Product may just be what you need to continue living life normally.
Click here to see my list of the best hearing aid alternatives / PSAP’s.
In this day and age, telephone communication is one of the most common forms of communication. Every day, billions of people connect with each other over this highly efficient mode of communication; however, this may be a challenge for the hearing impaired.
No matter how mild your hearing impairment may be, it can be very hard for you to communicate efficiently over the phone. This is mainly due to the fact that telephone calls are devoid of lip-reading, body language cues and facial expressions. To make things worse, you can only use one ear when on the phone.
If you find that you are suffering from a significant level of hearing loss, and can no longer use the telephone as efficiently as before, it is recommended that you get an amplified phone. Here is a list of the best phones for hearing impaired seniors.
Amplified phones generally look the same as regular cordless and corded phones. However, for easy and effortless use by seniors, amplified phones not only come with a sufficiently loud speaker, but are also designed to be easy to use with their simple controls and oversized buttons to enhance visibility and facilitate easy dialing. You can also increase the ringer volume on an amplified phone to make it easier for you to hear it ring.
While amplified phones are a great alternative to hearing aids, they are best suited to users who can communicate verbally.
If you think that an amplified phone is exactly what you need to overcome your hearing impairment especially when using the phone, you can get one through the relevant authority in your state. Alternatively, you can purchase any of the available options on the market.
Television Listening Devices
Hearing impaired individuals usually have to increase the volume on their TV sets to hear the sound coming from the speakers. This can irritate other people with normal hearing sharing the same space. Fortunately, TV listening devices like separate TV speakers and TV listening headphones are here to help. These devices are designed to make it possible for the hearing impaired to regulate the volume of the TV independently from what others in the same space are hearing.
TV listening devices usually stream the audio signal from the TV with the help of a wireless, Bluetooth or infrared, signal from the TV or a dedicated base station connected to the TV.
In addition to helping users adjust the volume of their TV sets, these listening devices are designed to make it possible for users to enhance the clarity of what is being said by filtering out background noise. Another great advantage of the best TV listening devices for the hearing impaired is that their use eliminates the need to keep reaching for the remote control.
If you cannot clearly make out the sounds coming from your TV set as a result of your hearing loss, a TV listening device is exactly what you need to continue enjoying your favorite music or shows effortlessly.
Improve Your Hearing And Understanding With These Communication Tips
Whether you are ready to use a hearing aid, would rather use hearing aid alternatives or are totally against using any assistive hearing product or device, you can still improve your hearing and understanding of your daily conversations by implementing some simple but effective communication strategies. These include:
- Always face the person you are addressing: We all rely on visual communication cues, such as lip-reading, and body language, when communicating verbally, regardless of whether we suffer from a hearing impairment or not. Those who suffer from hearing loss have to rely on these visual cues a little bit more than those who can hear normally. As such, to help you pick up on these cues more effectively, it is best for you to face anyone you might be communicating with verbally.
- Keep a reasonable distance: The further you are from the person you are trying to have a conversation with is from you’re the harder it will be for you to hear them. If you want to hear and understand the person you are communicating with, it is important that you say close to them. Staying within five feet of the person you wish to communicate with will make it easier for you to have a meaningful conversation with them, as you can better understand what they are saying.
- Minimize background noise: Background noise can significantly reduce your ability to listen and understand speech. Fortunately, there are many ways through which you can reduce background noise to bearable levels. If you are at home, consider turning off or moving away from sources of background noise, such as music systems or dishwashers, when carrying on a conversation. You can also use rugs and curtains to reduce the echoing of sound in your home. If you are in a restaurant, choose a table that is not too close to the kitchen or entrance as these areas tend to be quite noisy.
If you are suffering from hearing loss, whether, mild, moderate or severe, but aren’t ready to use a hearing aid, there are many other options for you to consider as highlighted above. You can also improve your hearing by adopting some effective communication strategies.