If you're new to the world of hearing aids, or even if you're a veteran, you should know about some of the coolest gadgets and devices to expand the powers of your hearing aids, the products to keep your hearing aids working well and the accessories to make them your own. Here are some excellent options on the market today:
Make FM better
Many hearing aids today have FM technologies. FM uses radio waves to transmit sound from a source directly to the hearing aid with the use of a transmitter, receiver and microphone. The person with hearing loss attached the receiver to his or her hearing aid, and the speaker wears a microphone and transmitter to send his or her speech directly to the hearing aid wearer's ears. Many transmitters and microphones are discreet and can be warn like a low-hanging necklace by the speaker. They are typically ideal for children with hearing loss in a classroom, work meetings or any other setting with background noise or where the speaker and person with hearing loss are up to 50 feet apart.
A few examples of modern FM systems are Oticon's Amigo FM System, which comes with various types of receivers, adaptors and transmitters, and Phonak's Dynamic FM technology, which pairs with its discreet, design-integrated receivers and neck loop transmitters. There are also new wireless microphones that are small, use bluetooth, are fully automated and work with nearly every hearing aid on the market. These devices are great for use in challenging listening situations, such as when there are several speakers rather than just one.
Make phone communication easier
Many hearing aid manufacturers also make devices that can make cell and home phone communication easier. One such type of device is a cordless phone that transmits sound to both of your hearing aids at the same time, making the phone call clearer. There are also wireless, bluetooth-enabled devices that work with the bluetooth capability in your cell phone to make calls clearer.
Listen to music, watch TV and use your computer or tablet
There are several wireless devices on the market today that operate like a personal headset for an extra boost of quality hearing for those wearing hearing aids. For example, Oticon has a line of devices called ConnectLine that use Streamer Pro wireless technology to make hearing your favorite TV show or watching your favorite online music videos more enjoyable than ever. For watching TV, you need a TV adaptor and a transmitter that looks like a sleek MP3 player and is easy to use - just hang it around your neck and press the correct button, whether it's for watching TV, making phone calls or listening to music.
Keep your hearing aids clean and dry
Even if you've had your hearing aids for only a short time, you know that it can be a struggle to keep them dry, especially in extremely hot temperatures or when you're exercising or on a rainy, wet day. However, there are many accessories you can purchase that work as sleeves for your hearing aids, keeping out water, sweat and debris.
Hearing Aid Sweatbands are made of a soft terrycloth, just like sweatbands that athletes wear. They come in a variety of colors - from neutral to bright - and fit snugly over behind-the-ear hearing aids and are meant to protect them from dust, dirt and light sweat and moisture. Ear Gear are spandex covers that keep hearing aids free from damage due to sweat, moisture or dirt. Additionally, the snug sleeves are attached to a cord and clip, and they can also clip onto glasses, to keep them attached at all times. They come in a wide variety of colors and are especially great for children who tend to remove - and then lose - their hearing aids.
Another great purchase is a hearing aid dryer or dehumidifier, which is especially helpful in humid environments or places with extreme heat or cold. People typically remove their hearing aid batteries and keep them in a hearing aid dryer overnight for the best results.
Add a special touch
Rather than hiding your hearing aids or wearing neutral colors, consider adding a little fun behind your ears by attaching clips or charms that show off your personality. These are most appealing to children who wear hearing aids and cochlear implants, as they sometimes are reluctant.
With the array of accessories and devices on the market today, it's easier to customize your hearing aids and find tools that will help you make the most of your hearing and feel fulfilled.