By: Dana Luzon, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA –
Hearing instruments are designed for enhancing speech communication from person to person, however there are some environments and situations even with good devices patients may continue struggle based on their hearing impairment. These situations can include non-face-to-face communication like in a car, communication at a long distance or in a large group, as well as, while watching television or talking on the telephone. These patients need to use other assistive devices in conjunction with hearing aids to enhance communication in these areas.
As patients age, keeping in contact with their loved ones who may live far from them becomes increasingly important. These relationships can depend solely on telephone communication. Sometimes with physical limitations and mobility difficulties patients have a hard time getting to their telephone in a timely manner to answer the call. With the inclusion of wireless technology, the individual can answer their landline or cellular phone by a simple click of a button without the need to pick up the handset! This allows the patient hands free communication of their telephone that sends the signal into both of their hearing aids at the same time. We know that hearing equally well through both ears helps enhance the overall quality of speech and the wireless accessories help in doing just that.
The development of using Bluetooth and other wireless technology to connect the patient to their TV, cell phone, land line phone, and long distance conversation has increased the patients’ ability to hear and understand clearly in difficult listening situations.
If watching television is of great importance to a patient, the Medialink TV Adaptor and Surflink Mobile allows the patient to hear television in both hearing instruments simultaneously and allows their friends and family to listen to their television at a normal listening level. While listening to TV, the patient can also communicate with everyone else in the room while feeling engaged in conversation. This increases the patients’ ease of understanding of their television programs.
With the Surflink Mobile and Medialink Microphone, users can improve their understanding of speech at a distance. Likely uses include communication in a meeting or a religious service, or when a companion is not facing them like in the car. This discreet microphone aids the patient in difficult or noisy listening environments by simply pushing a button.
Training the patient and their loved ones on how to utilize the new accessories is essential to its success. It is imperative this patient is comfortable using the assistive devices in their everyday lives and training with a Doctor of Audiology will increase comfort and success with these devices. As an AudigyCertified professional, providing unsurpassed patient care is always my standard. These user friendly devices allow the Audiologist to address patients’ concerns in all aspects of their everyday life and aid in overall success and satisfaction with their hearing instruments. As part of my consultation process, I demonstrate better listening through the wide range of accessories in the office so patients experience the positive impact it may have firsthand before making the decision to purchase.
Dana Luzon, Au.D.
4266 Northlake Boulevard
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410