Hearing Loss? Keep up with Hearing Technology!

I recently received an informational letter from my audiologist, announcing advances in hearing technology. He wrote about hearing aids, assistive devices, made for IPhone hearing technology, and remote hearing care. It all left me thinking about the importance of keeping up with the latest in hearing loss technology.

I rely on a variety of sources to stay informed about hearing research and technology: My hearing loss professional and physicians, the online pages of Florida Hearing Loss Association of America and Hearing Loss Association of America, which are both are chucked full of hearing resources and hearing aid manufacturer sites such as: Oticon, Siemens, Starkey, Widex, ReSound, and Phonak. For those who have or are interested in a cochlear implant, take a look at the websites of the major manufacturers: Cochlear, Med-el, and Advanced Bionics. There other websites crammed with hearing loss advice as well as technology and device reviews.

There has been much talk about PSAPS, (Personal Sound Amplification Products). These devices might help those who cannot afford hearing aids or individuals with mild hearing loss who are looking for an alternative to hearing aids. Recently a law was passed allowing consumers to purchase PSAPs over the counter. If you want to learn more about these devices, The Hearing Journal, which can be accessed online, has a very good article about PSAPS. You can also find information simply by googling PSAPS or Information about PSAPS.

Is it worth the time to look up information about hearing loss and available solutions? I think it is. I am truly amazed about the discoveries made regarding the advancements in hearing technology and the assistive devices available to those of us with hearing loss. Five years ago, I would never have thought it possible to have the ability to stream music or podcasts. I had given up on the idea of using my phone until Made for IPhone hearing aids became available. I had lost my ability to hear movies and television programs and cheered when closed captioning and TV adapters came along. I never would have heard about CART (live captioning for those of us with hearing loss) or captioned phones or the ability to have captioned voice messaging and I was not aware of hearing dogs until I saw an article in Hearing Life Magazine.

These days most of us have internet access. Do a little research, keep up with the hearing aid and cochlear implant manufacturers’ websites. Visit the Florida Hearing Loss Association of America and National HLAA websites and follow the links to informative sites about laws governing disabilities and technological as well as psychological solutions for hearing loss. With a better understanding of hearing loss, you will feel more in control of your life.

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Linda Bilodeau

I’ve grappled with hearing loss since 1978. Through it all, I’ve faced periods of denial, acceptance, curiosity, trust and hope. But more often than not, I’ve felt annoyed, angry and frightened. I’ve encountered despair, loneliness and envy. I’ve experienced panic attacks. I’ve met understanding people, kind souls who helped me a great deal and others who thought I had nothing short of an invisible plague. As a way of coming to terms with my hearing loss, I’ve decided to put my feelings about my disability down on paper. My hope is to better understand myself and perhaps you’ll find a little something in my meanderings that will help you, too.

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