Streamer Solutions: “Well you could use this device that helps your cell phone talk withy our hearing aids, yes you would have to wear it all the time around your neck”
Volume Remote: “You could use this remote control to turn up your hearing aids, yes you would have to carry it around with you”
TV Solutions: “Oh, we have a device that connects your hearing aids to the television, but you would need to wear this around your neck to adjust the volume”
As an audiologist, these are phrases I don’t find myself saying very much anymore! All these streaming devices were extremely popular (and still are if you don’t own a smartphone), however, smartphones now allow us to do it all in one application.
Hearing aids that are compatible with your smartphone allow for
- better understanding during a phone call
- better productivity
- optimizes sound while in background noise
- allows you to locate your lost hearing aid
- monitor brain and body health
- change volume and switch programs
Whether you're on a walk, riding the bus or subway, if you have a podcast or audiobook, you can enjoy hand and wire free entertainment. No need for headphones or to hold a book. Simply press play and your smartphone will stream the audio right through your hearing aids.
Many people have tons of books downloaded on their digital devices such as the Amazon Kindle reader. One commonality that most of them have is that they never have enough time to complete reading the books they've purchased. Drops make an ocean and you'll be done with your books in no time at all.
Another option is to allow you phone to stream phone calls. This option is not only appealing because it’s hands free, but it also helps you understand the phone call better. When the phone call is processed through your hearing aids it reduces the background noise, streams through both of your ears, and it takes into account your hearing loss, only amplifying areas where you have hearing loss.
There is now hearing aid technology that is designed to help the wearer stay independent. With this technology, falls can be detected and alert messages sent to selected contacts. Just like our smartwatches can track our steps and other movements our hearing aids can do that now too! Tracking fitness activities has shown to inspire people to continue or increase their activity.Lastly, we are all aware how social interaction can have a positive impact on our mental well-being. The smartphone applications can allow you to track your social interaction. Before our lives were changed due to COVID-19 a lot of my patients were intrigued by this feature!
There is no question that volume control is one of the most used features of the smartphone applications. Even though hearing aids will automatically adjust the volume on their own depending on your environment, some patients like to be able to manually adjust it themselves. Dare I say… there is a mute feature as well.
Have hearing aids but struggling to understand someone with a mask on? Masks can decrease someone's voice up to 12 decibels. When our patients' hearing aids are fit, we don’t account for that decrease. That is why a lot of our patients enjoy being able to make a “mask program” for themselves using their smartphone(or asking us to make it for them)!
Most smartphones applications also allow you to locate a lost hearing aid.Unfortunately, one of the downsides to wearing a mask and hearing aids is that sometimes the mask will remove hearing aids on accident. I’ve had a few patients lose their hearing aids this way. If they choose to allow the app to access their location, they can ping the last known place they had their hearing aid.
Always remember that mobile technology is a tool that can help you immensely.Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Our motto at Kalady Audiology is to keep things simple and straightforward when using them.
Each hearing aid and manufacturer has different features, and each type of smartphone allows for different connectivity options. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us by phone at 843-524-7920, or book your appointment online at www.kaladyaudiology.com. Ask for the ‘New Technology’ appointment.
*Depending on the type of smartphone.
** Not available in all models, but available in certain Starkey Models
Dr. Meg Kalady is from the Philadelphia suburbs and has been practicing audiology for the last 30 years. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and she received her doctorate in audiology in 2012 from AT Still University.
Dr. Kalady is ready to help you take control of your hearing health. Contact our friendly practice to schedule a consultation.Request a consultation