Hearing loss is a challenge faced by many people. While hearing aids are a common go-to solution, there are many other types of hearing-assisted devices on the market.
An audiologist can help to narrow down and fine-tune the options, identifying the hearing-assisted devices that are best for you and your unique circumstances and needs.
Types of Hearing-Assisted Devices That Are Not Hearing Aids
While the term “assisted hearing device” commonly brings to mind traditional over-the-ear hearing aids, there are other devices available that may be better suited to specific individual hearing needs.
Here are some of the available hearing-assisted devices that are not hearing aids:
Bone Conduction Devices
Bone conduction devices are great for people with conductive hearing loss or single-sided deafness. These devices work by transmitting sound vibrations through the bones of your skull directly to your inner ear. They are often worn as headbands or implanted devices. They usually require seeing an otolaryngologist.
Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs)
Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs) are similar in appearance to hearing aids but have a few distinct differences.
While they can amplify sound, they are not intended to treat hearing loss. PSAPs are designed for individuals with mild hearing difficulties or who want to enhance their hearing in specific situations, like watching TV.
Many times they do not provide all the gain needed in order for patients to detect speech at an appropriate level. They also amplify all sounds evenly, which can be really annoying for a lot of patients.
An audiologist can guide you on whether a PSAP or a hearing aid is more suitable for your needs.
FM systems are commonly used in educational and workplace settings. They consist of a microphone worn by the speaker and a receiver with headphones for the listener. This technology minimizes background noise and delivers clear sound directly to the listener, making it ideal for improving speech understanding in noisy environments. This technology can be used in addition to hearing aids.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) encompass a range of devices designed to enhance your ability to hear in specific situations. These include TV listening systems, telephone amplifiers, and captioned telephones.
Audiologists can assess your daily challenges and recommend the right ALDs to improve your communication and quality of life.
Exploring Better Hearing with Assisted Devices
While traditional hearing aids represent a popular choice for addressing hearing loss, it is crucial to recognize that a range of alternative hearing-assisted devices exists to cater to diverse hearing needs. Many times these assisted devices are used in conjunction with hearing aids to maximize benefit.
These devices can enhance communication, boost confidence, and support mental and emotional health by enabling individuals to engage more effectively in social interactions and daily activities. Hearing assistive devices can also promote a safer environment by ensuring awareness of important auditory cues, such as alarms and environmental sounds, contributing to an enriched and fulfilling life.
When seeking the best solution, your first step should be to consult an audiologist. Audiologists can thoroughly assess your hearing condition, engage in discussions about your lifestyle and preferences, and provide guidance on the most appropriate device or combination of devices.
At Chicago Hearing Services, our dedicated team stands ready to support you in assessing your hearing and ensuring you find the right support for your specific needs. We will uncover which hearing-assisted device is most appropriate and fit and adjust it accordingly.
Reach out today to explore these options and embark on your journey toward improved hearing.