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Communication Devices for Hearing Loss

Author: Alex Camm

Published: 2009-01-17

Synopsis:

A review of assistive products designed for persons suffering from hearing impairments to aid them to hear better.

Main Digest

Individuals suffering from hearing difficulty or loss due to ear problems and hearing impairments or other underlying diseases may try a variety of approaches to find a solution to aid them to hear better.

Individuals suffering from hearing difficulty or loss due to ear problems and hearing impairments or other underlying diseases may try a variety of approaches to find a solution to aid them to hear better.

With cellular phones, an ear-piece or receiver may be attached to the external part of a hearing aid if the patient has one. Voice is then amplified through the close connection. Amplification technology can still be used and affixed to headsets since some wireless models may be roughly designed wherein it is almost impossible to have the mouthpiece stay close to the mouth as the ear-piece reaches behind the ear. Text messaging features on cellular phones are also a reliable method that has the same approach as a TDD.

Fax machines have been equipped with direct-dialing options so that patients do not have to listen for a dial tone before activating the start button for sending or receiving documents.

Interpretive devices are available which prove to be quite useful especially for those who have experienced being deaf for a short while and have adjusted in the smallest sense. There are different types of ALDs or assistive listening devices using either FM radio frequency or infrared or induction loop technology. The process of the system involves the other person speaking into a transmitter or microphone while the patient uses a T-switch located on his or her hearing aid. There may also be a specific receiver for a certain preferred ALD.

Computers may also help patients such as the process of computer-assisted note taking or CAN wherein any form of conversation is inputted into a computer then projected onto a screen for the patient to view and read text. The information given through CAN may not be word-for-word although the main idea is very accurate.

Computer-assisted real-time transcription or CART involves a computer with an attached stenographic keyboard. A unique software is installed into the computer allowing phonetic symbols to be translated into English or another understandable language. The texts are still viewed and read on a screen but the difference is that the information given is word-for-word. CART is comparably more expensive than CAN too and requires a skilled operator.

The texts are still viewed and read on a screen but the difference is that the information given is word-for-word. CART is comparably more expensive than CAN too and requires a skilled operator. The rise of technological devices like hearing aids has also been very helpful during the coping process.

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