Hearing loss is a serious problem, which affects many aspects of a person’s life. Depression, anxiety, the development of psychological disorders, loss of orientation in space, the inability to communicate with loved ones are just a few of the difficulties that people with hearing loss face.
According to statistics, over 37 million Americans suffer from this problem. And the number is constantly growing.
Audiology Island always strives to help people and make their life easier. Today we decided to discuss the topic of the difficulty of communicating on the phone for hearing impaired people.
Today telephones are the main tool for communication between people. Unfortunately, people with hearing loss are often deprived of the opportunity to communicate using a regular telephone. Therefore, we will take a closer look at telephone options available for hearing-impaired and assistive listening devices specially designed for them.
Who should use specialized telephones for the hearing impaired?
Many people think that hearing problems begin only in old age when a person is well over 60 years old. However, this is not the case.
Constant noises on the street, at work, loud music, genetics, and many other factors negatively affect our hearing, significantly reducing the age at which problems appear. So, according to the National Association for the Deaf, about 10% of the US adult population (from 20 to 60 years old) suffer from some degree of hearing loss. It should be noted that after 60 years, the problem is present in more than 50% of people.
Medical statistics show that today people are increasingly suffering from hearing problems. The percentage of sick Americans is growing every year. Many patients wait too long to seek help. This greatly complicates the treatment process, so it is very important not to miss the moment and turn to specialists as quickly as possible.
Therefore, people from 20 and even earlier can use amplified telephones for hearing impaired. After all, these devices are an important tool for communication between people. Lack of communication leads to the development of Alzheimers, isolation, and depression. A major study by the American Speech-Language & Hearing Association confirms this.
What signs show that a regular phone is no longer suitable?
You cannot make out a word or phrase while in a public place
The device is set to the maximum volume
You often ask again the speaker to repeat themselves
If you notice similar symptoms in yourself or your loved one, then most likely the person is experiencing hearing loss.
Telephones for people with hearing loss
There are certain types of telephones specially designed for people with hearing loss. The choice of a device model depends on the degree of the problem. What does the market offer today?
The devices help people with hearing loss due to their unique features. The main one is displaying text on a special phone screen, which is automatically compiled from the conversation of the speaker. Thanks to this, you can always read a phrase or sentence that you could not hear. Just press the corresponding button on your phone. It is important to note that this feature does not require additional payment and is available immediately after getting the phone. Keep in mind that most of these phones are provided to you at no charge from our clinic as long as you have proof of hearing loss.
The principle of operation of the device is quite simple – amplified hearing impaired telephone increases the decibel level of sound. The speaker gain varies from model to model and can reach up to 70 dB.
The devices are great for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Models from different manufacturers may have a different set of additional functions. Our hearing care professional, Dr. Zhanneta Shapiro, notes that some of them will be very useful to use:
Filtering background noise
Flashing visual cue, thanks to which you will see the incoming call
Large buttons to help visually impaired people
Memory dial buttons for quick and easy calling
And by choosing between wired or wireless amplified telephones, you can easily find the most optimal and comfortable device.
Bluetooth function phones for hearing impaired
We decided to put these devices in a separate group, thanks to its unique feature – Bluetooth capability. It allows you to connect your phone directly to your hearing aids.
Bluetooth hearing impaired phone is great for people with mild to severe degree of the problem. A person no longer has to worry that he will miss a call. The signal is automatically redirected to the hearing aids.
It is worth noting that over 90% of Americans today use mobile phones. Modern smartphones are also Bluetooth capable, which makes communication much easier for people with hearing loss.
How to choose the best hearing impaired phone model?
In fact, there is nothing complicated about it. If you already know the degree of your hearing loss, then you can choose the type of device yourself:
Amplified and Bluetooth hearing impaired phone – mild to moderate hearing loss
Сaptioned telephones – from mild to profound hearing loss
Next, consider several models of the same type and choose the most suitable device with the required number of additional functions.
Are you just starting to experience hearing problems? Then it is best to seek help from doctors. Audiologists will diagnose and determine the degree of the problem. After consultation and treatment, you will be recommended a certain type of telephone specific to your hearing loss.
If you still have any questions or have difficulties with choosing a phone, then contact Audiology Island. We will quickly and professionally solve your problem!
About Dr Zhanneta Shapiro
Dr Zhanneta Shapiro received her Masters of Science from Brooklyn College in 2005 and completed her Doctorate of Audiology from Florida University in May 2008. Her graduate training was in various hospitals in the tri-state area and a residency period completed at Ear Nose and Throat Associates of New York. [ Learn More ]