Listen Up: 3 Must-Have Technology Tools for Hearing Loss
The Hearing Loss Association of America estimates that around 20% of Americans (around 48 million people) experience some form of hearing loss. In fact, it’s so common that one in three people will experience hearing loss by age 65. No matter how old you are, hearing loss is definitely nothing to feel bad about – and it shouldn’t keep you from living your life, either.
Here are 3 must-have technology tools if you’re experiencing hearing loss.
1. Home alert systems
You can go old-school with flashing-light alert systems – or high-tech with new home automation tools for homeowners with hearing loss. Either way, it’s easy to find the right tool for the job. Alarm clocks, weather alerts, doorbells, phone signalers, baby cry signalers and of course smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors can all be set to alert you with visual signals or vibrations.
2. Personal sound amplifiers
Unlike hearing aids, personal sound amplifiers (or PSAPs) are inexpensive and available without a prescription. They’re generally worn with a headset or ear buds and come in rechargeable or battery-powered options. Think of them as the hearing equivalent of over-the-counter reading glasses. Talk to your audiologist to see if one would work for you, and if so, which type would be best.
3. Captioned telephones
Captioned telephones allow you to use the phone like you always have, but the phone displays live, easy-to-read captions as your caller speaks. The simple joy of talking on the phone again – without waiting for a quiet room or relying on others to help you – makes captioned telephones a “must have” for anyone experiencing hearing loss. Best of all, you may qualify for a CapTel phone at no cost.
Simply download and print the certification form and have it signed by a doctor, audiologist or other health professional right now.
FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS ANYONE BUT REGISTERED USERS WITH HEARING LOSS FROM USING INTERNET PROTOCOL (IP) CAPTIONED TELEPHONES WITH THE CAPTIONS TURNED ON. IP Captioned Telephone Service may use a live operator. The operator generates captions of what the other party to the call says. These captions are then sent to your phone. There is a cost for each minute of captions generated, paid from a federally administered fund. No cost is passed on to the CapTel user for using the service. (v5.4 7-18)