Adjusting to hearing loss means getting used to new ways of interacting with the world around you. Some things are fundamental, like using hearing aids as a straightforward way to maximize your hearing ability. Hearing aids are developing more integrated interactivity and helping people with hearing disabilities access communication and media like never before.
In addition to understanding and using the features of a hearing device, having hearing loss requires thinking about how you can be reached without audio information. From waking up in time for work, to catching an important package delivery, to being prepared for an emergency or accident, the world is full of alerts and alarms you’ll need to access without relying on your hearing. Luckily, most notification systems can take various forms these days and there’s plenty of adaptive tools to help you be ready for anything life sends your way.
Almost everyone has slept through their alarm clock’s ringer at some point, but if you have a hearing impairment it’s important to consider what sort of alerts you’ll need to wake you from sleep and grab your attention. No matter what kind of hearing aids you use, you won’t be wearing them 24 hours a day and they’ll usually be out of your ears when you’re not awake. When you can’t depend on sound, or your sense of sight, your best option will be something that you can physically feel.
Many people with hearing loss utilize vibrating alarms as a reliable wake-up call. Vibrating watches and vibrating armband alarm clocks are a great solution -and easy to travel with. If you’re a sound sleeper, there’s also a wide selection of sonic bedside alarms, often accompanied by a “bedshaker” vibrating unit. In a pinch, you can set your cell phone’s alarm and alert system to vibrate and place it under your pillow or inside your pillowcase when you sleep.
Flex Your Text
The rise of text messaging in our culture has done a great service for those with hearing loss. Signing up for local and national alert systems helps you get instant notification in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. Additionally, the FCC has started advocating for 911 services to be accessible by text. Although it’s not national protocol, you can contact your local civic services to see if 911 texting is available in your area as it is in a growing number of places across the country.
Many home appliances with audio components –devices like telephones and televisions, even emergency radios- can be found with captioning features. Captioning can assist your comprehension, even if you’re wearing hearing aids, and offer additional clarity. When looking into making a purchase, always investigate and consider the captioning capability.
Flashing alarms are another effective way to keep yourself alert and protected with hearing loss. If you currently have smoke and CO2 detectors that only have audio alarms, consider switching to detectors that have multiple alert methods like bright flashing lights. With the advent of smart technology, having your smoke alarm send you a vibrating phone alert is even an option these days.
If you’re staying in a hotel or somewhere unfamiliar, always check their emergency alert methods. At hotels and motels, you can check to see if they offer vibrating or flashing alarms in the event of an emergency.
Get in the Loop
Check with us at Preferred Hearing to learn more about hearing aids that have telecoil receivers in them – it’s a pretty standard feature on many models. Telecoils work in many public venues that have a telecoil loop set up. They stream important audio directly to your hearing aid, without the competition of environmental noise. From train stations to churches to opera houses, accessing telecoil audio can work with your hearing device to give you the clearest experience possible. If your hearing aids incorporate a telecoil you can usually turn it on with a small switch on the device.
The Smart Part
Smart phones are becoming a ubiquitous part of American life, and an indispensable tool for people with hearing loss. Many new hearing aids can now be incorporated with smart phone applications to stream audio directly into your hearing device. Similarly, if you install smart-phone integrated home features like doorbells, thermostats or security systems, there’s the connection now of having alerts from these devices stream to your hearing aid.
Living Life with Your Best Hearing
Your hearing loss should never hold you back in life – or put you in danger- and with a little forethought, it won’t. At Preferred Hearing Centers, we’re ready to help you with quality, thorough health care for your hearing. If you’re looking for the perfect hearing aid for your needs, or just want to schedule a hearing checkup contact us today.