Every year about this time I start to get phone calls from our patients’ family members asking if there are any holiday gifts they can get mom or dad to go along with their new hearing aids. The answer is always, YES!
Dehumidifiers – Hearing aids can be an expensive investment so it would make sense to protect them from damage or excessive wear and tear. Preventative maintenance is essential. One of the biggest problems we see is moisture inside of the hearing aid. Dampness, humidity and body moisture can reduce the hearing aid’s sensitivity, shorten battery life and cause corrosion. So a great gift idea for any hearing aid user would be a hearing aid dehumidifier. The price will range from $25 for a small jar with pellets that pull out the moisture, to over $200 for an electronic dehumidifier which also works sterilizer removing unwanted bacteria.
Bluetooth – Over the past few years we’ve seen an increase in the ability to wirelessly stream videos and music to our computers, televisions and cell phones. Advances in hearing technology have made it possible to receive wireless sound as well.
Here’s how it works: A wireless Bluetooth streamer is worn around the neck like a necklace. This Bluetooth streamer receives music streaming from your iPod or cell phone and then it streams the sound directly into both hearing aids where the sound is adjusted for your particular hearing loss. Imagine not letting hearing loss come between you and your enjoyment of pop, classic rock, or whatever style of music you like!
In addition to streaming music, we can also stream the sound from your smart phone as well. The Bluetooth streamer takes a caller’s voice and wirelessly sends it directly into your hearing aids – through both ears! The result is that you can receive calls anywhere – from either your cell phone or home phone – and it helps you to understand the conversation with much greater ease and comfort.
Amplified Telephones – For people whose hearing aids are not Bluetooth compatible or who do not want to wear a streaming device, an amplified telephone is a great gift. These telephones amplify incoming sounds by up to 30 dB and bring the sound in loud and clear, allowing much better communication than on a standard telephone.
Today’s amplified telephones are better than ever. We have cordless telephones, telephones with large numbers (for people who are also visually impaired), and even telephones with answering machines.
CapTel – Ideal for people with some degree of hearing loss, the Captioned Telephone, or CapTel, works like any other telephone with one important addition: It displays every word the caller says throughout the conversation. CapTel phone users can listen to the caller, and can also read the written captions in the CapTel’s bright display window.
You dial the other person’s number, exactly the same way as with any other telephone. While you dial, the CapTel phone automatically connects to the captioning service. When the other party answers, you hear everything they say, just like a traditional call. At the same time, the captioning service transcribes everything they say into captions, which appear on the CapTel display window. You hear what you can, and read what you need to.