Hearing Health

What Are Alerting Devices And How Can They Help People With Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss can cause you to be less aware of your environment, which is a safety issue. Luckily, there are great solutions to ensure that your safety is not at risk. Alerting devices can let you know what is happening in your home, for instance a caller at the door, activated smoke alarm or alarm clock, or telephone ringing.

Alerting devices mostly use one or more of these types of signals:

  • Visual: a bright flashing light.
  • Vibrotactile: a vibrating or shaking component.
  • Auditory: increased volume and use of lower-frequency sounds.

Most devices work by sending signals to receivers in your home. The receiver produces a visual (flashing light) or a vibrating alert. Some devices work with existing alarms and doorbells, so additional electrical wiring is not needed. As smartphone technology improves, many of these functions are possible via your phone as well.

What types of alerting devices are there?

Smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors

Some of these devices are sold separately, while others are part of a combination fire and carbon monoxide detection system. Many have extra loud alarms as well as flashing strobe lights, depending on your needs. There are also bed-vibrating fire alarms that have a component that goes under your pillow or mattress and alerts you to a fire by shaking you awake.

Doorbell signaler

There are doorbell signalers which work with or without an existing doorbell to let you know when someone is at the door. There are also security signalers that alert you if a door or window is opened in your home. Door signalers can range from a simple flashing strobe light to a system connected to your phone or one with its very own receiver.

Telephone signaler

Phone signalers alert when the phone is ringing. Some signalers plug into the telephone line and electrical outlet. Other signalers attach to the side of the telephone.

Wake-up alarm signaler

These devices will alert you when the alarm clock goes off. Products range from portable alarm clocks with built-in strobe lights to alarm clocks with a built-in outlet where a lamp or vibrating alert can be plugged in.

Weather alert

Weather alerts give warnings about impending storms or other dangerous weather situations. A weather alert radio can be used by itself or with other alerting accessories, such as strobes, bed-shakers, or text messages sent to your phone, depending on your needs and preferences.

Baby cry signaler

These devices alert when baby sounds are detected. Sensitivity is adjustable. These are used because regular baby monitors often do not generate enough sound for people with hearing loss to determine if their babies are crying.

For more tips on hearing health, explore our blog.

About Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.