Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are tools that can help people with hearing loss hear better in day-to-day situations. There are a variety of ALDs available on the market, each with its own set of benefits and features. Some common ALDs include personal amplification devices, assistive listening systems, and telecoils.
Some people use hearing aids or other methods to help them communicate and listen better. However, these devices are not always enough. Learning to explore about other resources can be helpful to improve daily communication.
Difference of Assistive Listening Devices and Hearing Aids
While assistive listening devices (ALDs) and hearing aids both improve hearing, there are some key differences between the two.
ALDs are designed to supplement hearing aids and can be used in conjunction with them or on their own. Hearing aids are meant to be worn all day, every day, whereas ALDs are typically used in specific situations.
For example, someone who wears hearing aids might also use an ALD in a meeting or when watching TV. ALDs can make it easier to hear in specific situations, but they don’t correct the underlying cause of hearing loss like hearing aids do.
Types of Assistive Listening Devices
There are many different types of assistive listening devices (ALDs) available on the market. Some common ALDs include:
- Personal amplification devices: These devices amplify sound and can be used without a hearing aid. They’re typically small and portable, making them easy to use in a variety of situations.
- Assistive listening systems: These systems use technology to improve the clarity of sound. They often include a microphone, transmitter, and receiver.
- Audio induction or hearing loop: These systems use a magnetic field to send sound directly to a hearing aid.
- Infrared system: These systems use infrared light to transmit sound.
- Radio frequency system: These systems use radio waves to transmit sound.
- FM system: These systems use FM waves to transmit sound. An FM system is like a tiny radio station that sends out its own signal. It has two parts: a microphone and a receiver. The microphone sends the signal to the receiver, which you wear in your ears or hearing aids.
- Assistive listening devices for televisions: These devices improve the sound quality of TV programs.
- Alerting devices: These devices notify you of specific alerts and sounds, like a doorbell or alarm clock.
What is the most commonly used assistive listening device?
Hearing loops are the most popular type of assistive listening device. They are very easy to use and provide clear sound directly to your ears.
Benefits of Assistive Listening Devices
There are many benefits of assistive listening devices (ALDs). ALDs can:
- Improve hearing in specific situations
- Make it easier to hear the voices of specific people
- Reduce the need to lip read
- Help people with hearing loss stay socially connected
Personal ALDs can be used by individuals with all levels of hearing loss, whether or not they also use a personal hearing aid.
Hearing aids, bone-anchored implants, and cochlear implants are designed to help people hear better in conversations. They work best in one-on-one situations or relatively quiet environments. However, there are some times when it is helpful to have extra support to hear. This might be needed in noisy environments, if someone is speaking from a distance, or if there are several people talking at the same time. In these situations, assistive listening devices (ALDs) can make it easier to hear.
When used in conjunction with a hearing aid, ALDs can help the user communicate more effectively in difficult listening situations. There are two types of technology for personal ALDs- hardwired and wireless transmission. Both technologies have their own set of benefits depending on the person’s lifestyle and personal preferences.
Hearing assistive technology can improve communication and connection for people with hearing loss and their loved ones. It can also help reduce the risk of falls, provide independence, and improve employment opportunities.
Features of Assistive Listening Devices
When choosing an assistive listening device (ALD), it’s important to consider the features that are most important to you. Some common features of ALDs include:
Portability: Many ALDs are small and portable, making them user-friendly in a variety of situations.
Battery life: Most ALDs rely on batteries for power. It’s important to choose an ALD with long battery life so that you don’t have to worry about recharging it frequently.
Compatibility: Some ALDs are compatible with hearing aids or other assistive listening devices. This can make it easier to use multiple ALDs at the same time.
Do assistive listening devices work for all types of hearing loss?
No, assistive listening devices (ALDs) do not work for all types of hearing loss. ALDs are most effective for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. People with severe hearing loss may not be able to benefit from ALDs.
Who Can Benefit From Assistive Listening Devices?
There are many assistive devices available to help people with hearing loss. The type of assistive device that’s right for you will depend on your individual needs.
If you have mild hearing loss, you may be able to use a personal amplification device. These devices amplify sound and can be used without a hearing aid.
If you have moderate hearing loss, you may benefit from an assistive listening system. These systems use technology to improve the clarity of sound. They often include a microphone, transmitter, and receiver.
If you have severe to profound hearing loss, you may need more than just an assistive listening device. Talk to your hearing healthcare provider to know more about hearing solutions and feasible options.
People with severe hearing loss may still be able to use assistive devices. This equipment may be used to provide a visual or vibrotactile medium for improved telecommunication access, TV enjoyment, sound detection and identification.
How Assistive Listening Devices Can Help
Assistive listening devices (ALDs) can be a helpful solution for people with hearing loss. ALDs can improve hearing in specific situations and make it easier to stay socially connected. When choosing an ALD, it’s important to consider the features that are most important to you.
At Doctors Hearing Care, we offer various assistive listening devices to help you communicate better and improve your overall quality of life.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!