Hearing aids themselves are not a universal panacea for solving hearing problems, there are many instances that due to the nature and severity of the loss and indeed an individual’s cognitive process hearing devices on their own will not suffice. At The Hearing Consultancy we can advice on, supply and fit an extensive range of Assistive Listening Devices.
The goal for any hearing device is to increase the signal to noise ratio ‘SNR’ (signal – that which is regarded as important e.g. speech and noise – competing sounds e.g. background sounds), so that the signal is not drowned out by the noise for example when in a restaurant. Distance can also naturally weaken the signal making it difficult to hear the point of interest such as when in a theatre or lecture room environment. The natural acoustics of our surroundings can also directly influence sound quality e.g. a room in a house as opposed to a place of worship where reverberation can play havoc with the sound quality.
There are a wide range of assistive technologies designed to improve the listening experience for hearing aid wearers and these are generally referred to as Assistive Listening Devices (ALD’s) and can be broadly categorised into three main categories:-
- Alerting Devices
- Using light and/or sound vibration to indicate an event such as a doorbell ringing or an internal alarm activating
- Alternative/Augmentative Communication Devices
- Touchscreen computer