Perhaps you have a loved one with a hearing loss or maybe they already wear hearing aids. You know the difficulties that they undergo every day. People with hearing loss work much harder than those of us with normal hearing to get through their day.
Hearing loss always presents special communication difficulties for everyone involved in the conversation or situation. People want to hear and understand what is going on and those talking want others to understand what is being said. During the holidays there are more family activities, more group parties, more dinners and basically a lot more socialization going on. For those of us with normal hearing it may be tiring, but it is still lots of feel-good fun times! For someone with a hearing loss it will be tiring and somewhat frustrating and may be depressing. It’s hard to be put into group after group activities with people laughing, singing, and carrying on! Imagine having a cast on your foot and having to walk mall after mall and then throw in some line dancing with the “boot scooting boogie, all with a cast on your foot! Yes, you would be tired and frustrated.
If you have normal hearing take this into consideration. Speak a little slower and look at people when you talk to them. It always makes it easier to understand someone when you are facing each other. Remember, the person with a hearing loss is working about 5 times harder than someone with normal hearing to communicate effectively.
During this time of year, we often get call from kids and spouses about gift ideas for their loved ones. Hearing Instruments and accessories have changed over the last few years.
Some gift ideas include accessories that will connect wirelessly to their hearing instruments. There are media devices that will hook up to the tv. These will typically also hook up to organs, stereo’s and “books for the Blind”. They will stream the sound directly into the hearing aids making for distortion free crystal-clear sound. Just like when we work out at the gym and wear earbuds to enjoy our music or a pod cast. Some plug into the tv and some are wireless depending upon the company. There are devices such as remote mics’ that can be used to stream live voice like in the car, restaurants, meetings or tv that are inexpensive. There are remote controls available to help provide greater control of the hearing instruments... especially for those with poor finger sensitivity. If your loved one has an Apple IPHONE or IPad product then they may be able to connect directly with their devices. If they have older hearing aids, they may want to upgrade their instruments to enjoy some awesome technology. Along with streaming products are also other accessories that help people with hearing loss that make great gifts. These are alarm clock, bed shakers, doorbells, telephone ringers/light flashers, amplified telephones, (usually free through state programs). Hearing aid batteries are always a great gift. Perhaps an extra charger or a turbo speed charger if they have rechargeable hearing aids. Hearing aid cleaning spray, vacuums, wipes, Eargene for itchy ears, drops for ear wax maintenance, hearing aid cleaning tools. Many little stocking stuffers are available.
If you have a loved one or a friend with a hearing loss, stop by your hearing health care providers office and see what kind of accessories would be helpful to them. Devices that will “stream and connect “directly to a hearing instrument are brand and model specific. Therefore, if it is a Starkey hearing aid and you want a tv media device it must be a Starkey product compatible with their specific device. This is true all manufactures, whether it is Siemens, Phonak, Oticon, Beltone, Miracle Ear... etc. Do not buy extra’s off the internet. Go and visit their local hearing health care provider and BE CREATIVE!! To Hear Better Is To Live Better!