f you're one of the estimated 28 million Americans
with a hearing loss, it is likely that you could benefit
from hearing aids, an assistive listening device, or
both. Those who are considering using hearing aids or an
assistive listening device need to educate themselves
about their hearing loss and what technology can satisfy
ASHA urges consumers who suspect they have a hearing
loss to see an ASHA-certified audiologist for a thorough
hearing evaluation and to learn more about rehabilitative
options before making a purchase.
Assistive Listening Devices Boost Hearing
Having trouble understanding what' s being said on
television or over the telephone? People with all types
and degrees of hearing--even people with normal
hearing--may benefit from an assistive listening device
(ALD). An ALD can increase the loudness of a desired
sound, such as a radio, television, or a public speaker.
Various types of ALDs exist, including TV listening
systems, telephone amplifying devices, and auditorium-
type assistive listening systems.
For a free brochure that answers questions about the
kinds of ALDs available, whether an ALD is appropriate
for you, and where to find one, call ASHA' s Action
Center at 1-800-638-TALK (8255).
Visit ASHA's list of groups for people
with hearing or balance disorders
Hearing Aids Alone May Not Be Enough
Although you use a hearing aid, do you have trouble
following fast conversations? Do you miss information at
meetings? If you have any degree of hearing loss, you may
benefit from aural rehabilitation services through your
audiologist. Aural rehabilitation can include
strategies for effective listening, ways to maximize
hearing aid usefulness and benefit, speech reading,
captioning, cued speech, or even sign language to
supplement the use of hearing aids.
Digital Technology and Hearing Aids
Some hearing aids are now available with fully digital
technology. Unlike conventional analog hearing aids,
fully digital hearing aids can be tailored to process
sounds that reduce background noise, improve clarity
of speech, and help control unwanted loudness. They
also can be programmed to make automatic adjustments in a
variety of settings.
Because digital hearing aids are more complex than
those that are analog, they are more costly, larger in
size, and use more power. ASHA suggests consumers ask
their audiologist if the new digital technology is right
for their amplification needs.
For free information about hearing aids and how to
purchase them, as well as information about aural
rehabilitation, hearing evaluations and referrals to
certified professionals, call ASHA' s Action Center
1-800-638-TALK (8255) or visit ASHA' s website at
Communication disorders affect approximately
Americans. Of these,
have a hearing loss and
have a speech or language disorder.
hearing health care professionals who specialize in
preventing, identifying and assessing hearing disorders
as well as providing audiologic treatment including
hearing aids and other assistive listening
Speech-language pathologists are
the professionals who identify, assess, and treat
speech and language problems including swallowing
the national professional, scientific, and
credentialing association for nearly 120,000
audiologists, speech-language pathologists and speech,
language, and hearing scientists.