Assistive Listening Devices

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Hearing aids play a big role in making life with hearing loss easier and more manageable. However, there are instances where hearing aids may not be enough. Aside from educating yourself on various ways to improve communication with hearing loss, you may also need to look into various assistive listening devices (ALDs) and assistive listening systems that may boost the efficacy of hearing aids.

Audiology and Speech Solutions offers a wide range of assistive listening devices to help hearing aid users get the most out of their devices.

What types of ALD devices are available?

Assistive listening devices include alerting devices, amplified telephones, hearing aid compatible smartphones, TV-compatible devices, Roger FMs, and more.

Amplified and Captioned Telephones

Amplified phones allow hearing aid users to turn up the volume as needed to hear speech and sounds more clearly. However, amplified and captioned telephones can be used without hearing aids. Captioned phones provide real-time captioning which can be greatly helpful for individuals with severe to profound hearing loss.

Hearing Aid Compatible Phones and Telecoils 

Telephone manufacturers are required by law to make phones compatible with hearing aids. Smartphones like iPhones and Androids are included in this law.

Generally, hearing aid-compatible phones use acoustic or telecoil coupling. Acoustic coupling recognizes and amplifies sounds from the phone and any sound in proximity. Meanwhile, telecoil coupling requires a hearing aid to be equipped with a telecoil, a special feature that picks up phone signals for amplification.

Telecoils are preferred by many because the background noise is blocked out during phone calls. Many hearing aids are equipped with built-in telecoil technology but some need to be activated by an audiologist. When getting a hearing aid, make sure that you ask your audiologist about the telecoil feature.

Assistive Listening Devices for Television 

Watching your favorite TV shows should be relaxing, not stressful or agitating. However, if you can’t hear the sounds coming from the TV clearly, you might need to get an assistive listening device for television. This way, you can clearly hear everything that’s being played on TV without making the volume too loud for other people in the same room.

FM Systems for Public Settings

FM systems are radio-frequency-assisted listening systems that transmit wireless, low-power FM frequency to FM receivers. FM systems are usually worn as a headphone or a neck loop. This type of ALD is widely used in schools and other public places.

An example of an FM system is the Roger Phonak FM System. It is specifically designed to assist those with hearing loss to bridge the gap between what their hearing aids can and cannot do. Since most hearing aid wearers still report some hearing challenges in noisy situations, FM systems like Roger FM come to the rescue.

The proprietary Roger technology smartly measures the surrounding noise level and adapts the microphone’s volume automatically, ensuring a clearer listening experience. Audiologists at Audiology and Speech Solutions will be more than happy to walk you through the features and benefits of FM systems.

Alerting Devices

Aside from helping make listening easier, ALDs also help individuals stay connected and aware of what’s going on around them. Alerting devices rely on amplified sounds, vibrations, and visual cues to alert the users to sounds in the environment. These alerting devices come in the form of vibrating alarm clocks, doorbells with flashing lights, and vibrating or flashing smoke detectors.

Where can I get more information? 

Assistive listening devices can be used with or without hearing aids, cochlear implants, or bone-anchored implants. These devices serve as “boosters” or accessories to make sounds more accessible to individuals with varying degrees of hearing loss.

Audiology and Speech Solutions offers a wide range of ALDs to help improve not only your hearing but your quality of life as well. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are willing to pay for audiology services out of pocket, self-referral is possible. There’s no need to see a doctor to get a referral if you are not going to avail any insurance benefits. However, if you are going to avail insurance for an audiologist consultation, a referral is needed.
Currently, all diagnostic audiological procedures covered by Medicare need a physician referral, with the main requirement influencing reimbursement being the purpose of testing. Medicare covers procedures that are medically necessary and appropriate for a patient’s treatment and diagnosis. The physician must write in the medical record the specific sign, symptom, or complaint that necessitates the service for each treatment charged.
A hearing instrument specialist is state-licensed hearing health professional trained to evaluate common types of hearing loss in adults and fit hearing aids. Audiologists are the primary health-care doctors who evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss and balance disorders in individuals of all ages from infants to adults and the elderly. Audiologists are also versed in fitting and fine tuning hearing technologies including hearing aids and surgically implanted devices.
Hearing aid dispensers (HADs) are fully qualified professionals who assess hearing and provide hearing aid aftercare. To employ hearing technology, hearing aid dispensers must be qualified and apply for a license. Audiologists can evaluate and diagnose a broader spectrum of hearing and balance issues. An audiologist is better suited for providing services related to balance problems, earwax impactions, and noise-induced hearing loss. Hearing aid maintenance, cleaning, repairs, and fitting adjustments can be performed by either specialist.

As audiologists and speech language pathologists, we focus on holistically treating all aspects of communication through diagnostics.