People often focus on hearing aids when trying to find ways to improve the sounds they hear. However, advancements in technology have created innovations that go far beyond hearing aids alone. One of these areas involves assistive listening devices (ALDs).
Also known as assistive listening systems, ALDs offer numerous benefits. You can use them in personal or public settings, and they’re also an option whether you have mild or severe hearing loss. So, when should you use an ALD?
Kevin Sharim and his experienced team at Sharp Hearing Care Professionals work tirelessly to explain all of your treatment options available for hearing problems, including ALDs. Here’s what you need to know about assistive listening devices and when they could be right for you.
There are several types of ALDs that work in different ways. However, they share the same goal: improving the sound coming directly into your ear. More specifically, they help separate sounds from background noise — known as the speech to noise ratio.
ALDs typically have three specific components. First, there’s a microphone that picks up the desired sound. Second, something has to transmit or send the sound to the receiving device, such as:
The third component of an ALD is the receiving device delivers the captured sound to the ear of the user.
Assistive listening devices can increase the sound volume for the user, minimize background noise, and make a speaker’s voice more clear. ALDs also reduce user fatigue because you don’t have to work as hard to listen to a conversation.
You can often use an ALD on its own when you have mild hearing loss. However, you can also use them in combination with hearing aids and cochlear implants, which makes them a valuable tool for people with mild or complete hearing loss.
The beauty of ALDs is that you can use them with two people, in a group, or in a large public space. In fact, they’re even available in places like classrooms, courtrooms, airports, and theaters. At the end of the day, these devices offer a versatile option for improving access to sound in numerous settings.
However, ALDs use different technologies to transmit and receive sound. That means it’s important to work with an expert to determine which option could be best for you depending on your needs.
To determine if an ALD is right for you, we perform a hearing evaluation and hearing test to diagnose your hearing loss. Based on the results, we can make recommendations on the best treatment strategy, from ALDs to hearing aids.
Our team can also provide personalized recommendations for other personal listening devices, including options that link directly to your TV or cellphone. We can even connect you with caption phones that translate a caller’s speech into text on the screen.
Whether you have mild or profound hearing loss, an assistive listening device could help. Contact the Sharp Hearing Care Professionals location nearest you to schedule an audiology consultation so we can provide personalized treatment options to improve your hearing today.