There are many situations in daily life where a hearing aid or cochlear implant may not provide the best solution to a hearing-related problem. For example, if you have only a mild hearing loss and little or no problem in a quiet office or one-on-one communication, you might feel little need for a hearing aid. Yet you might not be able to function well in a noisy business luncheon or conference setting. Maybe you successfully use hearing aids during the day, but can’t hear the alarm clock to awaken in the morning, or are concerned about hearing your baby crying at night when not wearing your hearing aid. There are a wide variety of products available to help in these kinds of situations. As a category, these are called “Assistive Listening Devices” or ALDs.
ALDs include telephone devices; amplifiers and amplified phones; visual technology [e.g., texting, instant message, TTY’s (text telephone yoke or teletypewriter) or TDD’s (telecommunication device for the deaf)]; television viewing (e.g., silhouette and neckloop inductors, wireless systems such as the infrared and the audio loop systems, closed-captioning TV); radio, music, MP3 players; personal FM system; many theaters, auditoriums, places of worship, and classrooms may be wired for infrared sound or audio loop transmission; captioning and CART (Computer Assisted Realtime Transcription); alerting and signaling devices (e.g., a buzzer for the door bell, smoke/fire, carbon monoxide and telephone signalers, coded flashing lights, simple phone amplifier and strobe light devices); and hearing dogs.
Because assistive listening devices have not been typically covered by public or private health plans and are not easily available in mainstream retail stores, you may not have previously been aware of the broad range of devices available to help with your hearing problems.
At House Clinic, we sell some of the more commonly used devices, particularly those developed for use with hearing aids, and our audiologists can help you determine what types of devices might be best suited to your needs.