Hearing Loss Basics
- Hearing Evaluations
- Hearing Aids
- Hearing Loss in Children
- Assistive Listening


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About Our Team

Cockeysville, MD Office
10153 York Road, Suite 106
(410) 683-0101

Stewartstown, PA Office
200 Bailey Drive, Suite 201
(717) 993-3686

Assistive Listening, Alerting
Devices and Accessories

Hearing aids can enhance the listening quality of life for the majority of hearing-impaired patients in most listening situations. However, even the most advanced digital hearing aids may not provide satisfactory performance in very demanding listening situations. A hearing aid works best when the hearing aid user is in a situation where there is low to moderate background noise, and is in a face-to-face conversation with another person. If the person moves away, it becomes more difficult to hear. Turning up the volume of the hearing aid results in both speech and noise becoming louder but not necessarily improving speech intelligibility.  

For a hearing-impaired patient, trying to listen in situations where there is distance involved, such as in theatres, lecture halls, classrooms and places of worship, can lead to missed information. Background noise can be frustrating in restaurants, airports and train stations. Listening over the telephone or to a TV can also be difficult.

Digital hearing aids have improved patients’ ability to hear in noisy situations, but there is another category of technology that can be useful at these times. Called assistive listening devices (ALDs), these auxiliary mechanisms can be used by themselves or in combination with hearing aids. An example of an ALD would be a telephone amplifying device or a special auditorium accommodation for the hearing-impaired. Despite advances in hearing aids, ALDs are still needed in certain circumstances. ALD, or FM systems, are commonly used by children with hearing loss in classroom settings.

The way that ALDs improve listening ability is by bringing the voice of the person speaking into the listener’s ear, making the speech louder than the background noise. This is classified as an improvement of the signal-to-noise ratio.  A combination of hearing aids, together with ALDs, can go a long way toward helping patients listen and communicate satisfactorily. 

Every day there are sounds that signal the brain to take action - the jangle of a telephone or doorbell, the high-pitched beeping of a smoke alarm or the cries of a baby. In these situations assistive alerting devices - or mechanisms that signal to hearing-impaired patients by visual or other means - are extremely useful. These devices can be linked to flashing lights or vibrators. An alarm clock, when augmented by an alerting device, is especially helpful to the hearing aid wearer who can’t hear a regular alarm clock without a hearing aid. Assistive alerting devices can be used by people with severe or profound hearing loss or by hearing aid wearers when they remove their aids. These devices are just a few examples of hearing systems that can improve patients’ ability to function in everyday situations.

Assistive listening devices can be used with the hearing aids to improve communication over the telephone.  Amplified telephones can improve the hearing ability for patients utilizing a land line.  Patients who wish to use their hearing aids with cellular phones can benefit significantly from cell-phone adaptors.  Similar products can be used to link I-pods to hearing aids also. New technology has recently been developed to better match new electronic developments such as MP3 players, IPods, cellular phones and high definition TV’s.

We also offer custom hearing protection and swim plugs for our patients.  These are made by taking a custom impression for each ear, giving the best fit for each patient.  These can also be ordered for musicians, allowing filtering for specific frequencies.  Please call our office to set up an appointment for impressions.

Call us toll free: (866) 943-3686

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