Do you have trouble hearing conversations, ask people to repeat things, avoid social gatherings because you cannot follow the conversations in groups, or is your family complaining that you play the television or radio too loud? If so, you may have a hearing loss. If you do have difficulty hearing, you are not alone. Studies have found that nearly three million Canadians suffer from some level of hearing loss. If you think you have a hearing loss, you should schedule an appointment at a hearing clinic for an individualized hearing assessment to determine how bad the loss is and how to correct it. Here are some of the devices that a hearing assessment may determine will make it easier for you to hear.
There are many different types of hearing aids available today. They range from small aids that fit completely in the ear to small behind the ear hearing aids to larger more powerful behind the ear aids. The type of aid a person uses depends mostly on the level of their hearing difficulty. An audiologist at a hearing clinic will test your hearing to see if you need a hearing aid and if so what type of aid will best suit your needs.
Regardless of which type of hearing aid you ultimately receive, you should ask about the availability of a telecoil for your aid. Telecoils are devices that are put in hearing aids that can significantly improve your ability to hear in certain situations. Telecoils were originally designed to allow hearing aid users to use the telephone. But today telecoils can also be used with assistive listening devices to hear:
- Television or radio programs;
- Concerts, movies, or plays;
- Class lectures, and meetings; and
- In any venue that is equipped with a loop system.
Often hearing on the telephone is one of the most difficult tasks for a person with a hearing difficulty. Sometimes, especially if the hearing aid is not equipped with a telecoil, even a hearing aid will not allow a person to hear properly on the phone. Fortunately, there is a very simple and inexpensive way to solve this problem, an amplified telephone. An amplified telephone is like any other telephone, except that it allows the user to adjust the volume to better hear conversations.
The great thing about visiting an audiologist at a hearing clinic is that their patient consulting services can help you identify which of these devices, or if there are any other devices or services that will help you live as productively as possible with your hearing loss.